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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.

1,016 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,016
Hads: 2,224
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 286 | 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: 1,016 | Hads: 2,224
Photo of Damian
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Redbones, Somerville, MA

Poured a deep, ruby brown/black with a medium, pillowy, light tan head that faded to swirls of froth. Lots of beautiful, cascading lacing.

Aroma was hardly noticeable at first but became more apparent as the beer warmed. Yeasty, bready and woody with intense malts, brown sugar, ripe fruits and some alcohol.

Taste was similar yet more pronounced. Initially, sweet malts, dried fruits and a general oakiness were discernable, yet they were quickly overshadowed by the overwhelming alcohol punch. Finish was quite hoppy and dry for a dubbel.

Rich, heavy, creamy mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. The beer felt like a pillow on my tongue.

Overall, a good beer, but I wish the alcohol flavor could have been masked more effectively.

As a side note, I have tried this beer both on-tap and in a bottle and the bottled version seems to exhibit much richer and smoother flavors, as well as a reduced hop and alcohol profile.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another whim beer...

A: iced tea brown with a thick off white head that quickly fades. Good.

S: very faint hints of sweet bready malts. Not much else. Ok.

T: piney oak with a kind of metallic bitter backend. Kind of reminds me of autumn. Bready apples with some alcohol taste. Decent.

M: medium body with a great carbonation. Very good.

D: goes down very easy once you get past the metallic taste. Good.

All in all, this was an ok brew. Kind of overrated IMO. Good to try if u like belgians. I have not gotten in to them myself.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with 2 fingers of light tan head.

Scent of sugars, raisins, and some roasted malts. Pretty good scent, but nothing really stands out but the malts, it falls a little short.

Taste of candi sugar and malts, with some fruit coming in as it warms. Not overbearing, but still falling a bit flat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but slightly watery.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a fluffy white head with some little speckles in it. Smells of dried fruit and malt, and tastes very mildly of figs, blackberries and some other assorted spices. Lots of little hints of flavors, but jsut not much overall quantity of flavor. I got bored before finishing the glass; just not that interesting overall.

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Photo of Ralphs66
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very good beer, but I'm not diggin' it as much as I thought I would. The jolly Friar on the bottle suggested that it would make me very happy, and I while I have a smile on my face I'm not running off to join Robin Hood and his band of merry men. Pours beautifully, and after 15 minutes it's still holding a bit of head. Lacing is french vanilla white and runs up the entire length of the glass. Malty, malty, malty; smelling and tasting creamy. Carbonation is very high, which may be putting me off a bit. It's reminding me of seltzer water and I never drink seltzer. Alcohol taste is muted, but it does give me a nice warm burn. I'd drink it again, but there are other trappists I'd put way ahead of it.

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Photo of JBogan
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky medium brown with ruby tint. Bubbly one finger head which stayed all the way through and left minimal lacing in my glass.

Smelled of fruits, malt and alcohol. A little cocoa as well.

Tasted as it smelled, except the alcohol became more prevalent as it warmed.

Mouthfeel was good, with a medium body and lots of carbonation fizz.

A good beer to try at least once but not one I'll seek out again. Nothing really special for a beer of it's type, bot not bad either.

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Photo of Chizoad
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first sampling of one of St. Bernardus' other offerings. Up to now it's been the Abt 12. To sum up the review before it starts, I'll stick with the Abt 12 given the paltry price difference between it and the Prior 8.

Very pretty pour with a fat creamy head with some odd flecks and sediment sticking to the top. Lacy as it settled to a 1/2 finger head. Opaque reddish-brown liquid with floating yeast that would make someone other than me suspicious.

Nose suggested some raisins and a little alcohol, but not hugely impressive.

Taste was initially pretty good, but not complex, maybe even a little less so than the smell. The alcohol in it burns off quickly, and is followed up by a pleasing bitterness that is not typical. Doesn't hang around too long either.

Highly effervescent on the tongue, and sorta sparkles on there. One of the highlights of the ale. Perhaps due to this, it's not too heavy.

Still, I don't find it attractive enough to want to down another one. In fact I probably won't get it again, although I'm glad I tried it on a whim.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Phenomenal presentation; takes up temporary refuge in a chalice a buckeye-colored brew with concentric foam ripples around a nippled and incessant head.

Nose is pungent yet not all that appealing: predominantly yeasty in nature...dried fruits, rum, raisins.

Was this beer stored upside down? I remember splitting a 750 of this with a friend a few years ago and it tasted phenomenal. This...is not. Incredibly beercap-like flavors taint the nose, but underneath is a tea-like fallen leaf profile. Mulled cider impressions, leathery esters, and finally, a brown-sugar and rum afterglow. Minerally. A dry bitterness lingers across the tongue, leading the desire for another sip in hopes of redemption.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasurable, especially with the soft and foamy intro and the somewhat addictive overall droughtiness on the tongue. Aforementioned metallic twinges destrac, however.

Well, compared to the 'drink 'til you are dead' nectar that is the Abt 12, this is utterly forgettable. Next time i'll be sure to purchase this in the 750mL package to see if this was just a case of poor-handling or excessive age.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pured with a frothy off white head. Brown, but has some ruby and purpleish hues when held to light. I get very little from the aroma. Maybe some chocolate, raisin, mostly malt.Fairly heavy on the palate. Light carbanation. No real sign of the 8% alcohol until you swallow, and the just a hint. I’d say I’d go buy another couple of bottles and put the in the cellar, but I don’t think that is what this beer needed. Actually, this beer is probably exactly as intended, just not wowing me

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of sourdough and earthy yeast. The color of watered down coffee with a nice finger of tan head. Some of that breadiness comes back again in the palate, a bit dry and crisp with a medium body and some spicy alcohol. Definitely let it warm.

A nice dubbel, a little too brut for my taste but still a worthwhile visit.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 for a 11.2oz bottle in 2006. 28-04-09 on the back of the bottle. Re-reviewed 11-27-10, I paid $25.99 for a mixed 6 pack of the breweries beers. 8.0% ABV.

Pours to a cloudy mahogany with ruby accents, forming a very creamy soft light yellow head. Abundant yeast in the bottle. In the middle of the head is a small plume as a result of the steady carbonation of the beer, it's excellent head retention and the shape of the Chimay glass I'm drinking it out of. Brussels lace is fine and solid. The aroma is just OK...green apples and bananas, distant malt vinegar, and mild grassy hops. No real Belgian funk character. Wooden cask character is appreciated as it warms and is swirled. Alcohol is imperceptable in nose. The mouthfeel is lively, moderately tart, with a mild ruddiness and alcoholic astringency to the finish. Medium-light body, actually, lighter than expected. The taste starts out with green apples, lemon, and green bananas, and is followed by subtle figs and a mild bitterness. The finish is dry, woody and earthy. Alcohol presence is unassuming. This beer definitely improves as it gets warm, but it's still not really a winner.

"Dubbel Light" is the best description of this beer. It doesn't do much for me. It looks and smells nice but has a very one dimensional taste. Too dry and it has minimal residual sugars, like Shiraz that is steeped in tobacco. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

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Photo of 100floods
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a caracole tulip glass. Pours a dark, murky amber with a cream white head with some decent lacing afterwords. Heavy carbonation. Pours with a sound like a bubbly soda. There are subtle sweet, prune/light fruitty aromas hiding in there, but not much on the surface. The aromas are nice and clean.

I am having trouble gathering my taste buds around this one. There's a nice heavy body, which helps even out the carbonation but there's also this kinda sweet, sugar feel to it as well. I am also experiencing a creaming aspect as well. I'm thinking root beer or cream soda (maybe even a dull vanilla?), but very mild in comparison. Everything seems hidden in there.

I have had this beer before and i don't remember it tasting like this. This is not to say I am disappointed, just I remember this beer differently. I wonder what aging would do to this one. Good beer, just not what I remembered.

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Photo of velkyal
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In many ways this beer was pretty much as I expected, being a Belgian Abbey Ale and having an "8" in the title, immediately made me think of the Rochefort 8, and indeed it pours a similar cloudy brown although with a more frothy head, tinged with beige. The nose was malty, with touches of cocoa. The maltiness of the nose came through again in the sweetness of the beer, although the body was on the thinner side of the Rochefort, which while not reaching the heights of those august ales is no bad thing.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip.

A: pours a dark brown, even after a gentle pour there is a rather obnoxious three finger slightly browned head that takes a good while to dissapte, and also despite the gentle pour and leaving a bit in the bottom of the bottle there is still a good deal of sediment to be seen floating about in the glass.... Excellent lacing.

S: bready yeast with a him if nuttyness. Also a bit perfumy with some darkfruit sweetness.

T: sweet dark fruit notes balanced with a bready yeastyness, again a bit of floral/herby as well. Brown sugar, raisin. Grainy nuttyness.

M: creamy heavy medium mouthfeel with medium lightly crisp creamy carbonation.

O: a decent beer, but honestly I am a bit underwhelmed here, deffiantly would take a rochefort 8 over this one.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a wine glass.

murky medium brown with an inch of foamy, tan head. leaves excellent lacing.

aroma of bready malts, bananas, and caramel. touch of butter as well.

bready maltiness with a nice sweet aftertaste. medium mouthfeel with a nice prickly carbonation.

nice clean finish for excellent drinkability. 8% isn't noticeable.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark color, which surprised me since I was expecting a lighter color following the Abt 12 I had earlier in the evening, which was dark also (although much darker).

The smell is sweeter than the Abt 12, closer to candy than to fruits, although raisins and grapes are evident.

Taste is good, but not as good as the Abt 12, probably unfair I had that earlier, but also keeps a good frame of reference.

Feels good in the mouth, easily drinkable.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

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Photo of nhindian
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into a Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours a murky brown, a bit dark purplish color with a beautiful 3-fingered, frothy head. Retention is good. Spectacular lacing, which is a welcome addition to these great Belgians.

S - Smell is strong in Belgian yeast, candied sugar, and ripe, dark fruits. Getting huge whiffs of raisins, grapes, and plums. Sweet smelling, yet has a noticeable alcohol smell in the back. Tantalizing yet dangerous.

T - The smell segues nicely into the taste and each element is represented well here. The front is certainly sweet with the malts and sugar. The fruits come through here strongly as well, with the vinous grape taste leading the way. The sweetness from these two combine to help reduce the alcohol heat a bit, but the alcohol does impose a bit too much for my liking.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy with good carbonation. The sweetness lasts throughout the taste, and while it's not cloying, it could be reduced a bit. Additionally, the alcohol comes through a bit too much for my liking.

D - Drinkability is moderate. It's a bit on the higher side of the scale for sweetness and alcohol, and while the flavors are good, it's a good sipper.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a St Bernardus goblet.

A- chestnut color, 2 finger off-white head and almost no lacing.

S- dark fruits (mainly plums), sweet malts, candi sugar, yeast.

T- sweet amber malts, dark fruits, toffee

M- medium body, a little thin. Leaves you with a slight dry mouth ay finish.

O- good beer, but a little thin. Fairly easy drinking.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my St. B goblet
A= a very dark brown color that almost comes to black. The two finger heafd lifts up and leaves a head that covers the top nicely leaving behind decent lacing
S= tart grannysmith apples and a yeasty odor comes out.
T= the apples taste more red now like a sweeter tart apple. The yeast is still there. There's a small amount of hop bitterness.
M= high carb but very crisp and refreshing. Totally not expected from the color
D= pretty average. Not my style but very tasty

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Leaves a tan one finger head with good retention and good lacing. Body is a hazy garnet.

Smell - horse blanket, caramel, figs, and raisins. Alcohol is well hidden.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, caramel, figs, and raisins washed down with medinical and alcohol phenolics. Alcohol is mostly well hidden.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and dry.

Drinkability - I find this to be good, but not great. I will have this on occaision. High abv also supresses sessionability.

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Photo of TerryW
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cola or coffee-like appearance with a good-sized and long-lived head that leaves behind chunky lace.

Nose is gentle with a touch of raisin and whiff of alcohol. Quite bready as well. Appetizing.

Somewhat sweet to start with but quickly evens out into something slightly dry and almost chalky in character. Nice lingering mouthfeel and flavour with a hint of cocoa and raisins. A hint of alcohol as the beer starts to warm up.

Decent, competent beer. Nice finish.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/11/2006 (750mL bottle):

Pours a very dark brown colored body, with a very slightly off-white head, big and lasting, smooth. Has an aroma of citrus, lavender, and spices. A slightly bitter, slightly sweet taste. Some molasses, warming, with a good mouthfeel, somewhat alcoholy.

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Photo of nicetry
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet.

Murky brown color with a beautiful amber hue when held up to light. Tan, relatively thin .5 inch head that quickly slides into a top foam. Lovely delicate lacing hinting at the carbonation to come.

Smell is very nice; subdued or dark fruit esters and stings of spice - a high pitch nose of nectarines and anise with low notes of cherry and fig. As it warms it gets more complex, adding in a toasty fermentation smell that, and this may be strange, makes me think of certain jenevers.

Taste surprises: a bouquet of ester-y carbonation forms around the edges of the low notes hinted in the nose; a chalky, malty spine hangs around to yield alcohol and a bitter finish. Decent and different.

Mouthfeel is delicate and unique for a dubbel, and while the finish is interesting, it doesn't convert into the malty saccharin finish characteristic of it's type. Unique and very good for a single bottle.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish brown color with an alarming amount of bits suspended in it. This beer looks like the first runoff of a brew kettle before any vorlauf. The head is a tan white, quick to rise and just as fast to fade to a thin sheet of suds. After the Pater 6 i am slightly disappointed with this one.

Nose continues the disappointment with a just slightly above average scent. It is heavy on the caramel and candied side of things. It smells over sweet and a touch boozy with mild toasted grains.

Taste is better then the nose but only slightly. The caramel and candied flavors are there and really aren't bad, the problem i have is the lack of complexity. Once you get past the slight grain and sugar toasted sweetness there isn't much else. It tastes good but a little simple. Frankly I expected a little more.

Mouthfeel is nice with a firm carbonation and a smooth coating feeling. It's almost chewy with a warm finish that stays in your mouth for some time after. This isn't a bad beer but a solid average one. Simple and well made but not much for big flavors and complexity. Worth a try but probably not one I'd come back to. I find the 6 to be much more satisfying.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,016 ratings.