Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,010 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,010
Hads: 2,207
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 8.67%
Wants: 134
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: 1,010 | Hads: 2,207
Photo of pheurton
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

murky dark brown in color with suspended chunks. enormous off white/tan head that recedes to an ever-present 1/8" foam. spectacular lacing. huge sweet malt aroma, i'm thinking figs and other assorted dark fruits. silky smooth in the mouth while maintaining a very lively carbonation....just amazing. big sweet malt flavor, full of dark fruit and brown sugar flavors with bready undertones. alcohol is slightly detectable. light on the hops, but a phenolic spiciness finsihes things off well. quite strong, the sweetness keeps it from being much of a session brew. still, a sheer pleasure to enjoy, extremely well crafted with more character than most. highly recommended.

 671 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown color with a thin off white head that looks like a smooth layer of icing on a cake. Lacing developed through the drink. The aroma was of malt and yeast. The flavors was of malt, yeast, spice,caramel, and raisins. Not overly complex, but a nice variety of flavors that are well balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp finish. Medium bodied. The malt lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Extremely drinkable as this is so flavorful as a dubbel and the alcohol is barely noticeable.

 512 characters

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

Presentation: Brown, 33 cl bottle with an orange label featuring the St. Bernadus smiling monk. 1, 3, 5, and 6 notched on the numbers at the bottom of the label. "Best consumed before the end of 2005" written in French and German. Poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a fairly uniform dark brown color. One finger head is light tan with good retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a very thick trail of lace that clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Much less pronounced fruit aromas compared to the Abt. 12. Still some dark fruit — figs, raisins, and currants — along with a caramel sweetness. Some kind of buttery alcohol aroma which is hard to place.

Taste: Nose is malt and sweet, buttery cocoa flavor balanced with a little bit of dark fruit. Very slight clove notes, but not the same spicy, peppery flavor I associate with the style. Nose fades to a bready, grainy flavor, although there's still almost no hop presence. The finish is warm, thanks to the alcohol, with a very sweet aftertaste of prunes, raisins, and more cocoa/carob. As the beer warms, malt flavors are much more pronounced in the aftertaste … almost a smoked taste, very interesting.

Mouthfeel: A slight step down from the other St. Bernadus beers I've tried; but still excellent. Creamy and smooth with carbonation that's evident without becoming overpowering.

Drinkability: Perfect! The alcohol is present but masked and the taste is amazing … I could drink these until I was happier than the monk.

While the Abt. 12 has a more complex flavor, I think the Prior 8 wins of drinkability. A supremely drinkable, tasty Trappist Ale, and proof that St. Bernadus can do no wrong.

 1,692 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl Brown bottle.
It pours a deep amber with a firm beige head of lots of sticky lace.
A big fruity smell and earthy aroma burst out upon pouring. Cut hay, sweet malt, hops and citrus smells follow.
A light caramel and candy sugar taste sweetens the fresh bread flavor.
Sharp citrusy flavors counter the sweetness to near perfection. A light taste of cloves, coriander and peppery spices, quite separate at first, blend in as it warms. The alcohol is noticeable, but in a totally subtle way. Nice!

 502 characters

Photo of BeefyMee
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle

A fantastic looking beer. It has a perfect head atop a remarkable body of golden brownish red. The fresh aroma hints at fruit and alcohol. It's rich in flavor, which ranges from a slight sweetness and caramel aspect to a somewhat banana-like fruitiness. Feels like heaven in my mouth; it's silky with an appropriate yeasty zing. I'd kill a six-pack of these if they made it. I can see this beer in my future.

 425 characters

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sometimes the Toad still amazes me. What a rare find on tap! And they served it in a St. Bernardus stemmed balloon glass. Sweet ass! It appeared an opaque, dark brown with some streaks of red here and there towards the bottom of the glass and when you looked at it over top. Had a nice tanish head that receded into the slick you see, but had a great lacing. Smelled of currents, raisins, slight estery notes and a good showing of caramelized sugar tinted with a nice smokiness. The taste was sweet and dry with the dried fruits taking over and morphing towards the end into a nice licorice finish. Stickiness stuck to my lips. There was a good aggressive carbonation to this beer without going overboard and it complemented the beer quite well.

 745 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown in color with a very lively and robust head that shows little sign of dissipating even several minutes after the initial pour. Nose is candied sugar and dark fruit along with some fainter aromas of buttery caramel and spicy alcohol. Medium to full in body with a very smooth and creamy texture. Taste begins with notes of bread pudding blended with rum-soaked raisins followed by some vanilla extract and a bite of peppery alcohol in the finish. A note on the back of the bottle says that this beer can be enjoyed aged up to 10 years, so I suppose I’ll lay a few bottles down (I doubt I’ll be able to wait that long, though).

 644 characters

Photo of Hex92
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh man....I LOVE this beer. I am a big fan of dubbels in general, but this beer was amazing. It was all I could do to keep myself from gulping it down it was so incredibly smooth. I wish I had bogth another bottle. The Prior is much smoother than the Abt - not that I don't like the Abt. Sorry I can't give a better description of the taste - I don't do the 'hints of coriander and spice' descriptions. I will just say if you like Dubbels, pick up a couple bottles of this beer.
Forgot that I had drank this beer before I just tried it again and didn't think of it quite as highly. I marked it down 0.5 to 1 point in every category.

Bought the St Bernardus gift pack for myself this year. So I will get the chance to rate all 4 of their beers. I have been a big fan of the abt 12 since I first tried it maybe 12 years ago, but I dont think I have tried any of their other flavors.

Poured it into their nice chalice/goblet. Nice head and color to the beer. Looks great in the glass.

The smell is Ok, but not amazing. kinda run of the mill for the style.
taste is more of the same. good, but not great. i saw that someone else said that it had a slightly metallic taste. I was thinking the exact same thing when I read their review.

M- too bubbly for me.and doesn't coat the mouth as well as I would like.

O- this is a good beer....but nothing compares to the abt 12. If I was going to spend the cash I would prefer the Ommegang Abbey Ale if going for the same style. Or the Abt 12 if I wanted to get the best beer they make (still to be confirmed since I have the tripel and pater to drink still)

 1,604 characters

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this dubble was excellent. Dark, dark brown with an immense tan head and plenty of yeast floating about. The smell was sweet and yeasty with some hints of the fruit notes contained within. The taste was excellent as well. Up front yeast and bread followed by some fruity notes, and then a warm alcohol finish. The alcohol is present yet not overwhelming. Very similar to the abt 12, although not quite as sweet, and the fruit taste's are not as discernible. Mouthfeel is creamy and satisfying, although the carbonation is filling in itself. Drinkability is excellent, the lack of sweetness when compared to the abt 12 makes this actually more drinkable than it's big brother. Defiantly something to try if you get the chance.

 743 characters

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

Presentation: 33 cl bottle from a St Bernardus Sampler Pack (with free St. Bernardus Goblet included). Appearance: Opaque dark brown (I looked for other colors and could not see them) with a 1/2 inch off-white head that stuck around for a good long time. Aroma: I am in heaven! Lots of different sweet desserty fruits (brandied plums, raisins, chocolate). Flavor: The aroma follows through in this meal of a beer (OK, dessert of a beer) with bready (date nut bread?) chocolaty, and slightly coffeeish flavor. The head helped make for a very smooth creamy mouthfeel. This is the first time I have tried it, and it is easily one of my favorites.

 643 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle warmed to near room temperature and served in the St. B gift pack glass. What appears to be the best by date of: "Consumir preferentemente antes de fin de: 2005"

Apperance: A fairly aggressive pour results in a deep and dark brown in color. Many little yeasties swirling all around. Thick off-white head billowed up nicely and settles to a 1/8" thick layer. Nice lacing of the glass.

Smell: Dark fruits and a "musty" character noticed. Some vinous qualitites as well. Ripe bannanas in the background.

Taste: Certainly no thin beer in this bottle! Thick-tasting, with a malty sweetness that paired nicely with the ripened fruit flavors. Finished with a pronounced fullness. Slight warming effect from the alcohol. Lasting sweetness on the lips.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Med-High in body. Creamy smooth on the palate. One to sit by the fire with with your best dog at your feet, while the chill rain falls outside. Slow down and savor this one.

 972 characters

Photo of euskera
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served into a St. Bernardus goblet. Raisiny-brown color with a nice fluffy head and a nice bit of carbonation. Smell is reminiscent of its more potent sibling, but a little more restrained. Dead-on for the style. Plenty of spice in the body, a bit of a banana-bread feel with a nice alcohol backbone. Flavors not as developed as the Abt 12, but that's exactly what I expected.Smooth mouthfeel, almost velvety. Eminently drinkable, a worthly little brother to the 12. Hats off again to the smiling monk..

 518 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served at cellar temp. into a St Bernardus goblet. Pours a somewhat murky dark chestnut brown, with a light cocoa head that has excellent retention. Sheet lacing all over the goblet is impressive to behold. Aroma is of a classic Belgian of this style. Earthiness, spices such as cloves and coriander, a whiff of alcohol, and the tug of war between the dark fruits and the pineapple/mango/banana. Moderate carbonation tingles the mouth, before seeming to melt like a marshmallow. Taste is not nearly as complex as the nose, or as other St Bernardus offerings I've sampled, but is very well balanced with a hop presence to counter the sweet malt backbone. Finish is clean and a bit dry. Nothing to complain about here, and this one is another St Bernardus that made me glad I bought the 4 bottle sampler pack that included the nice goblet. Wish I had bought the other 3 sampler packs that were left on the shelf.

 925 characters

Photo of mickeymac
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical 11.2 oz Beglian bottle with an orange label and a jolly old fellow that reminds me a bit of my dear-departed grandfather. It pours dark brown with a fat off-white head with amazing retention. The head sticks to everything it touches and looks like a sand-blaster will be necessary to remove it. In other words, it's a damn fine-looking beer. The smell is nice dark fruit but a bit more alcohol than expected for an 8% abv beer. Raisins, ripe plum, and a hint of cherry are backed with a twinge of tartness. Although the flavor is on the tame side compared to others of its style, it's a very classy/classic tasting beer. Very nice for a cool winter afternoon.

 667 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: mahogany brown, a huge layer of tan foam builds up and slowly compresses to a thin persistent cap, almost opaque

Aroma: malty sweet, cloves, cinnamon, raisins, alcohol, pear fruitiness; very inviting

Flavor: a subdued malt sweetness balanced with a mild hop bitterness, some cloviness and a bit of yeasty overtone, raisins, less complex than it smells, finish is semi-dry w/ a slight bitterness and spice in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, club-soda carbonation, alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: A nice bruin from a great brewery. Abt 12 is obviously the shining star, so it's easy to overlook their other beers which are also quite good. Just look at how many reviews there are for the 12 as opposed to this one!

 746 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick foamy tan head built of big bubbles. The beer is dark brown in color, only a little light makes it through, and small light brown flecks of yeast float throughout. The aroma is of malty bread and burnt nuts. The flavor is a mix of dark fruits, bitter chocolate,and other flavors that I can't quite get. A fairly complex beer with a moderate body and plenty of carbonation.

 378 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky brown with a soft bubbly tan head leaves behind very nicely patterned lacing. Aroma: Raisins and green apple fruit esters fill my senses with toasted malts adding a bit of sweetness to the mix with an herbal air about it not bad. Taste: Not an overly sweet dubbel a bit dry in the finish but the underlying fruit tones are more than satisfactory, with rich complex layers of bready yeast, chocolate, apples and raisins. This is an awesome dubbel, mouthfeel well carbonated medium bodied belgian ale. Drinkabiliy: A very complex sorta hard to seek out brew that should be enjoyed in small quantities for the pure quality of this product.

 654 characters

Photo of Sixpack595
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head thats last till the end. Aroma is typical Belgian, yeasty and bready with banana and bubblegum. Taste is sweet and malty with raisin and cherry. Slightly spicy with a dry finish. Mouthfeel is spot on. Very drinkable, hiding the ABV very well.

 282 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark musty burgundian brown with tiny sediment particles clinching to the sides of the entire glass. The head is mountainous, dense and definately Belgian. Sheets of lacing left all over the glass with the head lasting the entire session. Rich aroma of red licorice, sweet malts, raisins, yeast and bread. A very vibrant and diverse flavor profile of caramel apples, raisins, figs, cane sugars, spices, sweet candy, yeast and alcohol. Trememdously balanced! Full mouthfeel and a smooth aftertaste that lingers on and on. Stupendous!

 540 characters

Photo of moulefrite
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good brew indeed! God, I love the stuff that comes out of this place! The beer pours about as dark brown as the spectrum allows with hints of orange. An awesome head forms and sticks like mad throughout. Aromas are all about sweet malt, vanilla cream, chocolate banana, dried fruit, very assertive in flavor....a baby version of the awesome ABT 12. Perhaps a bit lighter, but the mouthefeel is still one of large-ness, and complex-ness, this is a super sipper, and perhaps the perfect beer to offer before the ABT 12. Start with the triple and call it a day! I can't say enough about the value found here at this facility. Find them and buy them! I paid 2.99 for this and the triple. 3.49 for the 12-serious chit.

 720 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown with maroon highlights. Enormous dishsoap head, tremendous lace. Aromas of vanilla, dark tropical fruits and cough syrup. Taste is very malty with a little bit of the dark fruit in the aroma. No bitterness whatsoever and finish is a little watery. Fairly tasty but nothing special.

 306 characters

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The murky cola look is is followed by a nice nose of fruity goodness. Lots of plums, cherries and raisins luking in there with a very nice earthy overlay from the yeast. The flavor is dried fruits much along the lines established by the aroma. The feel is medium with nice crisp and clean lines. Decent drinkability.

 316 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in an 11oz brown bottle. Having sampled Prior 8, I now know why the monk on the label is so happy. This is one delicious brew!
Prior 8 was a uniform dark brown with an eternal creamy tan head that left great sheets of lace in the glass. An enticing blend of molasses, bready malt, dark fruits, and alcohol spurred me on to quickly take a sip. What a complex variety of flavors; with each sip it seemed a new flavor made its presence known. Dark fruits - plums, raisins, and cherries - along with molasses and candy sugar, hints of chocolate, and spices (coriander, nutmeg, anise, and pepper) all co-existed in perfect harmony over a sturdy backbone of yeast and roasted malt. A modest hops zip and alcohol bite finished this wonderful beer. The feel was full, rich, and creamy.
Prior 8 struck me as the slightly more alcohol-laden version of the Pater 6. Prior 8 is wonderfully drinkable but can put a bit of a dent in one’s sobriety. Another superb beer by the monks at Brouwerij Sint Bernardus.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice garnet color when held up to the light, otherwise this is an amber beer topped by a tan head. A spicy musty aroma wafts from my goblet. There are undertones of fruit in the aroma as well. Definitely spicy tasting as well, finishes a bit hot. This beer definitely features what Belgian yeast can do. Lots of yeast character here. There is a subtle malty sweetness that helps to carry the complex yeast flavors and aromas. The spice notes from the yeast that I can differentiate are; ginger, pepper, bergamot, and cardamom. This beer is medium bodied, though, as many Belgian beers are, it is quite light for its alcohol content. This beer is very similar to the 6, just a little bit richer.

 696 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty, bready and sweet. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are sweet and fruity. Nicely spicy. Touch of molasses, cane sugar, dark fruits (plums and cherries) and spices. Touch of mustiness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

 330 characters

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.