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St. Bernardus Prior 8 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,791 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,791
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 94
Gots: 114 | FT: 5
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
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Ratings: 1,791 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of danielharper


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

Appearance: Dark brown body that edges into black. Completely opaque, no light shines through. Has a very thick foamy head that leaves significant lacing. Head is foamy with heterogenously-sized bubbles. Excellent.

Smell: Tart alcohol up front, with dark roasty nuttiness underneath. Sweet, hints of nutmeg. Inviting, very much to-style for a dubbel. Slightly astringent.

Taste: As per-style, a strongly alcohol-tinged nuttiness is primary. There's a hint of Belgian funk, with a sweet and yeasty aftertaste. The alcohol is a touch overdone and overall the beer lacks complexity, but it's good and I'll definitely finish the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick, somewhat chewy.

Drinkability: Not quite as good as this brewery's other offerings, but a nice dubbel. I have friends who would probably like this a lot better than I do.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 03:33:08 | More by danielharper
Photo of schlimenhaumer

New York

4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:50:30 | More by schlimenhaumer
Photo of blitz134


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown when poured from the bottled, but quite dark when in the glass. Nice red hues when held to the light. Voluptuous light tan head that settled down to a quarter inch and eventually a thin while leaving nice lacing behind.

Nice dark fruit flavors, some cherry, but I get a bit more raisin and fig characters. Slight phenols and alcohol notes play well with the fruity esters, a touch of leather notes too.

Flavor is again dark fruits, raisiny with a finish leaning towards a touch of prunes. Also a light roasted character at the end. Alcohol is noticable but smooth. Yeast phenolics throughout. "Brew Like a Monk" states that St. B water is high in salt, and I think that it definately has a brine edge to it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slighty sweet in the finish but dries up towards the end. A bit of prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Overally a very nice beer, as was expected from St. B. Pretty easy to drink, fairly complex, everything a Belgian should be really.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 22:14:51 | More by blitz134
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was a deep dark ruby red, almost brown.
Nice tan head.

Aromas are very pleasant plum, raisins, dried dark fruit. Nuts, bready, yeasty aromas as well.

The taste is excellent. Similar to the Westvleteren 8 but not quite as complex. Rum, candy sugar, raisins, plums, nuts, bread even toffee.

Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonic with an alcoholic warmth.

I don't know how many of these I could drink due to the richness but I'd be willing to try a few.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 19:10:36 | More by BillyB
Photo of Golden2wenty1


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at some liquor store across the street from the Miramar Theater on Oakland in Milwaukee.

Pours a rusty dark amber with a tall beige head and big floaty chunks of yeast. Smell is a spicy, yet muted apple cider with clove and nutmeg. Taste is a drier, more subtle version of its big brother, Abt. 12. Less sweet, more tartness and clove. Mouthfeel is champagne crisp with fine, tickling bubbles. This is an extremely drinkable dubbel, especially at 8%. I'd have to give the edge to Big Bro on this one though, it's just a richer experience.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 22:46:57 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of prototypic


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Prior 8 pours a deep brown color with a distinct garnet hue to it. There's loads of sediment swimming about. Active carbonation pushing the yeast around creates quite the motion picture. A caramel colored head that stands two fingers deep sits atop. Retention is excellent. It's sure to outlast the beer lying underneath. Thick sheets of lace line the glass.

Smell: The most striking thing about the nose is the wealth of Belgian yeast. It permeates throughout and smells very good. There's a broad range of spices that features cinnamon, clove, pepper, and surely a few others. There's a light chocolate/cocoa aroma that smells sweet. Dark fruit scents of plum, raisin, and fig are noted. It's a nice smelling beer. The yeast, while it smells very nice, is almost a little too overpowering though.

Taste: It's spicy and sweet up front. Light clove, cinnamon, and pepper spices are noted. There's certainly a few other ancillary varieties that I can't identify. It is sweet and a tad sugary. Light chocolate provides more sweeetness and depth. Dark fruit flavors of plum, fig, and raisin are noted, but play more of a complementary role. Belgian yeast is obviously present, but is not as strong here. It really adds a nice touch to the flavor. Have I ever mentioned that I love Belgian yeast? Alcohol is blended well and goes unnoticed. Finishes sweet, a little spicy, and yeasty.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a medium body and is smooth. Carbonation is active and hinders it here a little. But, it is good. Drinkability is very good. I believe it'd be difficult for Brouwerij St. Bernardus to craft a beer that wasn't insanely drinkable. It goes down way too easy.

Prior 8 is a very nice Dubbel. It's every bit as good as Pater 6, though neither materially distinguishes itself from the other. Yes, this one is a little stronger and has a more substantial yeasty flavor. But, I like them equally. They also suffer from the same fault. They don't have that special something that drives them to the next level. I honestly believe it's a stronger spicy flavor. That's just my take. Nonetheless, this is a very good Dubbel that's easily recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 01:59:36 | More by prototypic
Photo of Stingray5

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle pours a brilliant vermillion with a massive bubble-bath-in-my-brew almond head that lasted forever. an almost solid wall of lace is left on the glass. Lots of yeasties floating around, and a substantial amount of gunk was left behind in the bottle. Aromas of spice and tropical fruit. Taste is more fruit and spices, with sticky malt and warming alcohol. Good yeast presence - there but not too much. High carbonation but not too imposing. Slightly dry, malt finish. Quite drinkable and enjoyable. I think this bier has taken me to the 'other side'. Definitely worth a visit every now and again.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2003 01:45:59 | More by Stingray5
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a cloudy mud puddle brown color with a nice khaki colored head that left some spotty lacing all over the glass. The smell is of brown sugar, fig, and raisins; sweet and a tad funky. The taste is of raisins/prunes, candi sugar sweetness and a light bready malt. The feel is moderate with prickly carbonation and finishes sweet but not slick. A very nice sweet dubbel which is very drinkable. I would prefer a bit more of a malty presence in my dubbel to distinguish it from a BSDA and to balance out the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 04:43:57 | More by Gmann
Photo of Hagbard


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a striking dark ruby color with a fairly thin creamy head. When the light strikes it from certain angles, it appears almost impenetrable and murky; from other angles it is a beautiful clear ruby color. The aroma is an intense mixture of yeast and fruit. My novice nose is not trained enough to pick out the fruits, but needless to say they are varied and intense. The aroma leads into an intense flavor delivered on the wings of a rush of carbonation. Again, I can't pick out individual flavors, but an assortment of dark fruits dominate. I do detect a blast of cherry in the middle. It finishes surprisingly dry with an acidic tartness that I imagine is the lambic trademark (haven't gotten that far yet). Overall, it's a very tasty brew. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the Abt 12, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 23:21:24 | More by Hagbard
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle
Label is orange with a monk holding a beer goblet that says Prior 8

I poured this slow and harsh. I have found out that the more gases released in the pour the more flavors are released.

Pours a nice head that falls into a thin bubbly head with a very strong lacing.

Smell is strong of flowery hops and sweet aromas

Taste is not strong, but light and aromatic. Strong pepper taste are very apparent

Mouthfeel is ok, nothing great.

I am glad to have this, but will wait for a great conditioned one next time

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 12:36:45 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of ProfessorCJ


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pt 9.4 oz bottle into a St Bernardus Glass. Dark amber beer beneath several fingers of tan foam. Pleasant fruity smell, barely beer like. Tastes like a cross between muscadine wine and beer. Very fruity taste. It fills the mouth with a flavor that isn't exactly what I call beer. I can truthfully say that I have never tasted anything like this. I look forward to trying more of this style beer. I would have no problem drinking the entire bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 00:57:07 | More by ProfessorCJ
Photo of jtingue

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Deep mahagony red in color. First pour is very clear, but becomes more cloudy as the yeast sediment gets disturbed after each pour. Many streams of bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Pours with 4 fingers of head that dissipate leaving a gorgeous helix of lacing around the side of the glass. About a finger of head is maintained throughout.

Smell. Substantially sweeter than its big brother abt. 12. Lots of prune, molasses and candied fruits. Also, somewhat floral, in a estery way.

Taste. Starts off a bit nutty, almonds and walnuts. Sweetness builds with some raisin and dried dates. A very slight (and I mean very slight) bitterness balances out the sweetness perfectly. Some lighter ester flavors come in and really dance on the tounge for a while. The finish is very balanced, with some of the sweetness, yeastyness and bitterness and is semi dry.

Mouthfeel. A superb amount of carbonation (the cork flew out of the bottle at the first chance it got). As soon as the beer hits the palate, it turns to wonderful froth, delivering the flavors perfectly (especially the yeast flavors). The body is moderate, but the quite dry the entire time.

For me this one was just amazing, though I may have a bias toward this type of beer. Hugely complex and a lot sweeter than its big brother, better looking too.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 23:22:28 | More by jtingue
Photo of supercolter


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow this is a dubbel... I had to check twice. I thought Tripel for sure. Appearance is quite good, but the enormous head dissapated more quickly than expected. Smell is good, very malty with some sweet dark fruit Taste is very similar to the smell.
Mouthfeel is exceptional, is medium to heavy in body.
Drinkability is good given the abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2007 20:24:54 | More by supercolter
Photo of cbutova


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

#3 in my St. Bernardus sampler six pack. Poured into my 25cl Chimay goblet with a red/brown body that is dim, a 1 finger head that fizzes out after a few minutes. The lacing is moderately low on this one but a nice coat is left on top of the beer. Smell is definitely that of a solid Belgian, got the malts, some fruit, raisins and some yeast, smell is kind of subtle on this brew. Tastes of raisins, a sort of toasty taste in this one, some sweets, fruits (apples again), spices and a decent alcohol presence, but a tasteful one, it is definately balanced by the other tastes. Mouthfeel is medium, with the alcohol warming at the end of the aftertaste. The alcohol in this one might get to me after a while, the spices started to get to me before my glass was finished, still a good, tasty and refreshing dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 05:12:37 | More by cbutova
Photo of whiplash3825


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the included St. B. chalice a beautiful chocolate brown with a tan one-finger head which quickly collapses into a lasting cap. Ample lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a yeasty sourness. Very delicate... very sublime!

Taste is primarily toasted malt sweetness, ripe fruit with some sourness from the yeast as a balance. Alcohol is noticable but not at all overpowering.

Great mouthfeel... neither too thin or too chewy, with about a perfect level of carbonation.

This caps off a memorable evening of beerdrinking, starting with the St. B. Abt 12, then the Tripel, and now the Prior 8. I expected the first to be best and then down in scale for the others, but it's almost the reverse. These St. Bernardus brews are incredible... all of them!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 00:31:41 | More by whiplash3825
Photo of Gouldsby


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out of a .33L bottle into a dogfish head snifter at room temperature.

A: dark leather maple syrup brown with light sand (color of the inside of an almond) two finger head that leaves strong lace high on the glass. held to the light a bit of ruby glows in the edge.

S: the aroma is forceful - sweet butter nougat, hazelnut and almond liquor, amaretto, fig, sweet nuts, dark cherry, vanilla...almost an amaretto stench.

T: tangy up front, highly carbonic, muted sweetness much as in the nose, delicate but rich nuts, light molasses, vanilla, all warm soft and lightly sweet, nuanced, dynamic, but flavor light. finishes with slight herbal bitterness and subtle spice fading to bread and disappearing with warmth.

M: immediately struck by high carbonation, medium-light density which ends dry.

D: i feel like the prior 8 is all nose, little bite (besides carbonic). a delicious dubbel, but with such rich aromatics, the flavor in the mouth leaves more to be desired.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 10:25:18 | More by Gouldsby
Photo of Sachsenfreude


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; very dark amber, almost a purple-brown color. Thick carbonation streams up from the bottom center of the goblet. Creamy and sticky beige head. Leaves pretty nice yet spotty lacing.

smell; mostly alcohol and some hops with a hint of burnt sugar.

taste; nearly perfect, caramelized sugar and plum up front. Finishes with a bitter hop bite that is quickly extinguished by some cherry-like sweetness. Alcohol hangs around in the aftertaste but is otherwise well hidden. Some raw barley flavors as well in the aftertaste.

mouthfeel; very rich with a thick and creamy full body. Carbonation and alcohol coat all surfaces in the mouth and massage them. Finishes very smooth and crisp.

drinkability; a little rich and strong for a session beer, sit back and enjoy, while it still last. Very easy to drink in spite of the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 05:13:38 | More by Sachsenfreude
Photo of karait95


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Good looking, dark red color, intense medium body, good head with small bubbles in a light brown color, well carbonated for a good top layer that remains all the time, the dissipation of the head happens slowly leaving lots of traces on the glass.

S: Some alcohol is sensed at first, also some malts and dark fruits but not to intense.

T: Here the dark fruit as prunes are somehow clear, also little sugar that should be caramelized or toasted, the malts are also present such as barley a little toasted and very little hops.

M: Easy to drink at the beginning turns a little difficult at the end because of the bitterness that remains a long time making a good ending, some alcohol remains on the mouth but not disgusting.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 01:22:49 | More by karait95
Photo of sitarist


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pour, purple with brown hues, a thick dense off white head that falls quickly to a 2cm top that stays and leaves lots of lacing.

Smells like an uncooked cinnamon roll, mainly raw dough, cloves and brown sugar. Some hints of fruit also. As it wars it gets a nice funk.

Taste fruity ( grapes, raisins, plums ), spicy ( clove, cinnamon , vanilla ), sweet and bread like. Wine-like ( tannins ) , slight funk, but very good.

Its has a nice medium body with lots of carbonation, the flavors dance on my tongue, slight prick; as the carbonation fades the alcohol and stickiness give it a dry wine like finish.

Good flavors and nice body make this highly drinkable. Not to big, well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 02:39:37 | More by sitarist
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2014 18:03:08 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of euskera

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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..

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 15:44:23 | More by euskera
Photo of doubleipa


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderately sweet, yeasty, bread aroma. SOme fruit, as well. Appearance was perfect. Poured a nice, creamy head with excellent lacing. No yeast particles. Initial and finish flavor were moderately sweet. It has a decent wheat flovor component. Overall, another great beer from St Bernardus.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2006 17:50:02 | More by doubleipa
Photo of BretSikkink


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lively sediment asked me to stop pouring 3/4ths of the way through the 11.2 oz. bottle. Added a delightfully brown froth on top of the already 1-finger head. As long as the beer is there, the head stays. It quickly follows, however, leaving little to no lacing topping the deep brown brew.

Plenty of dark fruity aroma, nothing commonplace or easy to identify. Chocolate? A little buttery?

Taste is solid and easy to drink, heavy on the malts and grains. Minimal hop presence. Alcohol catches up toward the end, some raisin/phenolic taste as it leaves the mouth.

Mouthfeel is enhanced by a slight twang as the beer goes down, one of the few indicators of the 8% abv.

Extremely drinkable, extremely tasty. An excellent Watou ale in the shade of its older brother, the abbot.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 06:26:35 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Bakerwine


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bbd = 07/15/13
served from 11.2 oz bottle, sourced from gift pack, into quality, all-purpose wine glass w/wider bowl to med-taper (same glass I'll always use for drinking beer - the big, thick glasses are fun and look cool, but I like the thin wine stems with a % of crystal - beers give more in these stems!)

-what a great color! deep ruby/orange w/streaks of purple and garnet. Tons of life - multiple streams of fine bubbles - I'd see more streams but the fantastic cloudy haze prevents it. - The milky deep cream head isn't going anywhere

-The nose is amazing - fruits range from lemon and honey-tangerine to bergamot orange to banana to wild raspberry - with red and yellow florals. Potpourri and baking spices are intense, with clove, peppercorns and bitter cocoa. The malty flavors are next with caramel, filberts and honey (lavender) - Organic earth notes of mushroom and hay and barnyard are here (but clean!)

-Palate is tighter than nose - temperature is a bit cool - but citrus and spices show themselves. The beer is lively and fresh and youthful - just a hint of bitter (very nicely balanced) with malty richness and nuanced power. The beer finishes long and with high complexity. This is far superior to the Pater 6 I had from the same gift set. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 02:53:32 | More by Bakerwine
Photo of EkimGram

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from my beer journal dated 1/2/10

A: Very dark hazelnut colour. Poured from large bottle into oversized wine glass. Lots of head upon pouring, dwindles down to about a 1 inch head.

S: Strong aroma of dark fruits. There is a touch of sweetness in it. Very pleasing, not too strong on the alcohol.

T: The taste of the alcohol strengthens on the tongue. The instant after the swallow there is a strong warming sensation, it lingers.

M: Medium bodied, carbonated, creamy.

D: A nice strong beer that doesn't have too much of a kick. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 20:01:50 | More by EkimGram
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,791 ratings.