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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.

1,853 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,853
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 136 | FT: 4
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,853 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a deep murky brown with a awesome big fluffy head that settles into a nice creamy top leaving sheets of lace behind,brown sugar and orange marmalade dominate the aromas with some underlying sweet biscuit dough.The taste is much drier than expected,some clovey spicinessis very prevelant along with some unsweetened chocolate along with some toffee finishing pretty rather dry and abrupt.A very nice dubbel complex and not overly sweet a very good beer one to savor.

oberon, Apr 24, 2005
Photo of Mantooth
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured on draft @ Milltown (Carrboro, NC) into a McChouffe goblet.

A: Very unique color - dark brown with hints of orange when held to the light, a khaki head that dissolves within minutes & viscous lingering lacing.

S: Toasted bread, dark fruit, sweet desert bananas, roasted malt. Great nose.

T: Follows the nose - browned bread, plum jam, nuts, alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

M: Initial sharpness from the carbonation fades quickly into a creamy mouthfeel.

O: A very good dubbel from a world class brewery, happy to have found it on draft & look forward to having it again.

Mantooth, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of eweneek83
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into the appropriate St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a burgundy brown body that is quite hazy/cloudy; body shows ruby streaks when held up to light, but body stays mostly opaque and cloudy throughout. Pour produces a creamy but thin, off-white colored head.

S: Dark fruits - prune juice, raisins soaked in rum. There are also stale bready notes that peak through the fruity sweetness. A mildly solvent alcohol appears later in the nose.

T: Mild fruity sweetness at the start. Again, dark fruits with prunes the most obvious candidate. The alcohol peaks after the initial wave of sweetness with a warming, peppery spike that is moderated by the arrival of the malt profile which produces a nice, wheaty twang. Finish is drying, similar to a dry wine. Aftertaste is distinctly malty - raw grains, stale biscuit and a buttery, slightly nutty note.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation; a nice crispness that is balanced with a slightly powdery/fluffy mouthfeel.

D: 8% ABV is fairly prominent - in the aroma, the taste and the warming sensation in the pit of my stomach. One more 11.2oz bottle and I would be good to go.

eweneek83, May 27, 2009
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

A-Slightly hazy dark reddish brown w/thick off-white head, nice retention and lacing. BB date Nov 17, 2014. 33cL bottle. Drunk from snifter.

S-Light grape and raisiny dough...faint caramel and spice, sour cherry, apple.

T-Fruity...apple, cherry, grape, raisin. Soft roasted malt, slightly sweet but balanced by dry finish.

M-Well carbonated w/medium body, good balance, slightly dry finish, and a dry aftertaste w/some heat.

D-Tasty beer...yes, it's less complex and not on the same level as the Abt 12, but it's close.

BoitSansSoif, May 01, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pour yields foamy 1 finger tan head and very very sticky lacing. Dark Coca-Cola coloring. Not quite black but close. Smell is sticky sweet candied plum and burnt cane sugar. Taste is brown sugar coated fig. Has a touch of plum and raisin and a taint of hoppiness. And perhaps a bit of tobacco. Carbonation is toned down as it should be with a beer like this. Only complaint is that it is a bit hot on the throat. Otherwise a stellar Belgian.

generalnotsew, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Paddez
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Everytime I see a St. Bernardus bottle I can't hepl thinking that they have to have one of the worst labels ever. ANyway; this beer is dark, muddy, brown in appearance. A hard pour produced a medium sized head.
The smell is sweet and malty with dark, plummy fruits and banana.
Lots of dark fruits in the taste too, but definitely not as sweet as the aroma would make you think. Then there are some notes of black coffee and alcohol. The alcohol warms the throat somewhat.
Good carbonation; quite fizzy actually and good drinkability, especially considering it's an 8%'er.

Rather strong stuff for a double, but a good beer by any means. Worth seeking out!

Paddez, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of FreshHawk
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

A - Murky chestnut brown to a dark, murky tawny color. Slight reddish tint. Large, foamy, bubbly, and off-white with a slight beige hue. A bit below average retention and some spotty lacing left.

S - Strong dark and citrus fruit smell along with some dark malt aroma in the background. Well spiced with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, coriander, and a bit of pepper. Also strong Belgian yeast smell and some dark candi sugar. Nice complex aroma, with typical Dubbel aroma with a bit more spice.

T - Follows the nose pretty well. Initially there is a lot of malt and dark candi sugar. Then the dark fruit starts to come out more. Then, bam, a load of spices (same as the nose) comes through. The finish is a nice mix of rum soaked dark fruit and spices with a nice background of malt and dark sugar. Belgian yeast flavors is also fairly present throughout the sip.

M - Slightly more than medium body with a bit more than average carbonation. Quite smooth with a tingly and warming finish.

D - Good drinkability. Complex flavors that don't kill your palate. The spice might be a little strong, but it isn't bad for drinkability.

Notes: Another good offering from a good brewery. Solid Dubbel that is well spiced. Well balanced and complex flavors that interplay with each other nicely. Definitely worth a try.

FreshHawk, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

750ml bottle into a goblet.

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown. Has a huge pillowy cream colored head that leaves good chunks of lace.

Smell is slightly medicinal. Has hints of chocoalte as well.

Taste is a bit of cherries at first followed by a touch of brown sugar. Finishes just slightly dry.

Overall, this is a very tasty brew. I like the 12 a bit better, but this is certainly recommended.

bluegrassbrew, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of mirish72
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured into a Chimay goblet, beer #3 of the mixed sixer.

Pours a dark mahogeny, reddish black. Visible yeast throughout. Beer has big carbonation, 2 finger head with nice lacing and retention.

Fruity aroma, lots of raisins, prunes and other good stuff. Tastes sweet with a nice dry finish, slightly bitter but very balanced and very drinkable.

Overall a very good dubbel and one that I would pick up again.

mirish72, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of Hefe
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Tasted on tap at R.F.D. on 12/22/04.

Appearance: Dark brown with edges of orange and red. The head is thick and tan

Smell: Plummy and malty with spicy esters, brown sugar and black cherry.

Taste: Dark fruits, and spices with a base of sweet malt. Nice clean flavor though lacking a touch of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Excellent creamy carbonation, with a rich, full body.

Drinkability: Great Drink! (Though I expect this is even better in the bottle)

Hefe, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a dark brown with some chestnut coloring and a nice tan head with some good legs as it goes down my tulip. Smell is dark fruits with a good amount of caramel and some dark candied sugars. Taste is not quite as refined, with yeast character really beginning to dominate. Mouthfeel is nice and rich without too much heat. Quite creamy. Drinkability is quite good. Did this as part of the entire St. Bernardus lineup, and this was one of my favorites; though, to be fair, I suppose all of them were quite good.

Thorpe429, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a bottle a dark ruby brown with a moderate mocha colored head.

Aroma of ripe fruit, bananas, bread, and bubblegum.

Tastes is ripe fruits, yeast, banana, and light malt.

Medium mouthfeel, dry, and moderate carbonation.

This is a great Dubbel but I actually prefer from the tap over the bottle. It seemed to have more depth.

Monkeyknife, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of cvstrickland
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

11.2-ounce bottle poured into a chalice yields a clear chestnut body with a fair amount of sediment in suspension, capped with a finger of ecru foam that quickly recedes to a creamy sheet that leaves random swatches of lacing on the glass.

The aroma of the drink is fruity with plums, red apple peels, prunes, and dark raisins. A tangy zing of yeast and spice makes my mouth water.

The flavor of the drink is mildly sweet and malty up front with toasty caramel laced with plums. A soft feel of banana manifests itself as a flavor as the drink warms a bit, and there is a whiff of oaky woodiness and plenty of peppery spice in a long, dry finish. Alcohol produces a tingle on the tip of the tongue, and a mineral note grows to prominence late in the drink.

Prior 8 is super-smooth and fullish in body with vivid carbonation that aids this drink into unmitigated quaffability.

cvstrickland, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of DavidST
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet. This pours a hazy yeast filled tea color with a small white head which quickly dissipates. The smells are of grapes and dark ripe fruit. The feel is medium with high carbonation. The taste is of grape, fruit, malts with a dry finish and a little alcohol burn. Overall pretty good but the 10 is better.

DavidST, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of thedoubler55
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

thedoubler55, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of wardough
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured into my St. Berny goblet.
A: Pours a murky brown, like if someone were to pour the Kansas River into my glass. The head hangs on, but only a few mm thick.
S: Get some high citrus notes and some spiciness.
T: Sweet throughout the pull. Malts, spicy hops, maybe some coriander.
M: Great mouthfeel, as the carbonation coats the way.
D: This is definitely one that I could drink day-after-day.
This is a great beer, and a good Dubbel. Recommended.

wardough, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of RedHaze
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a dirty brown, with a solid 1 1/2 finger head that settled into a 1/4 cap that never faded away, with pretty nice lacing.

Smells doughy with cloves, dark fruits, and some mild spices that I can't place.

Taste is of bready malts, spices, and candied sugars. There's hardly any hop flavor to this beer and it finished kind of dry.

I prefer the Abt. 12, but I'd get this again. A solid Dubbel.

RedHaze, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

11.2 Oz poured into St. Bernardus Goblet.

A- Muddy brown with 1 finger head that dissipates quickly, mine had a bunch of little particles in it which isnt uncommon for the style but not exactly attractive.
S- Sweet raisins and figs up front, some belgian yeast but its a really fruity smelling beer. Some roasted malt but mostly the dark fruits come through.
T- Not as fruity as the smell leads me on but there is still a good presence of dark fruits. A nice breaddy taste that I love, some caramel and roasted malts. Honestly, this thing is hard to pick out individual flavors because its so well blended and balanced.
M- Holy crap, LOTS, I mean LOTS of carbonation. really comes alive in your mouth, but in my opinion, its a little overkill. Leaves you with a dry aftertaste.
O- I had just tried the Pater 6 and thought it was excellent and was hoping this would be the same but a tiny bit better but i actually prefer the 6. Having said that, its a great brew.

TwelveOunces, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of BeerNutta
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

St Bernardus Prior 8

A = Pours a dark brown with a thin foam head that dissapates quickly. When held in the light, it has a very murky, muddy water appearance.

S = Smelt of stewed fruits like plums and dates.

T = Initial caramel taste that slowly mellows into a slightly bitter dark chocolate finish. Sounds slightly harsh, but in reality very smooth.

M = Is good but it just feels a little watery.

D = Good. But I'd rather drink St Bernardus abt 12.

BeerNutta, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of clvand0
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

This beer pours a cloudy brown color with a nice full head and just a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was very fruity with some yeast and alcohol notes. The flavor is very much the same as the aroma. It is fruity, malty, and slightly spicy, but very smooth and enjoyable. This is a very nice Belgian.

clvand0, Aug 14, 2003
Photo of AgentMunky
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Dark, dark brown but ruby when held up to light. Creamy head with decent retention. Looks good.

S: Dark fruit, spicy notes, vague alcohol. Something a little more complex is going on too, like a red wine? Delicious.

T: It's good. A little more carbonation than anticipated. Fruits aren't as present as the sharp spiciness. This fades into a bitterness which mixes with the sweetness from the smell. The middletaste is balanced, even if the initial flavour is not. Aftertaste is pleasant and mostly sweet with a few balancing notes kicking in there.

M: Very nice. Carbonation and spice make for a forceful first feel, but the fruit flavours moderate this well. Most enjoyable.

D: Not my favourite St. Bernardus mayhap, but very good. Despite the smell, it didn't taste very alcoholic, nor did I realize how quickly the beer was flowing from my goblet until it was gone. I would have one again, but probably would choose the Abt 12 over the Prior 8.

AgentMunky, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of bigdeuce
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

This is an interesting brew. Very malty, slight lacing, nice fruity smell. Lots of apricots and plums. Again, extremely interesting. A little overpriced. Almost more of a belgian strong dark ale than a dubbel. For me a little too strong for a dubbel, but still, a tremendous brew. Nice pillowy head, little carbonation, and the head dissapates quickly. Hey if you cam find a single, go for it!

bigdeuce, May 18, 2006
Photo of donteatpoop
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a hazy amber color with a nice cap opf cream colored head.

The smell was wildflowers and wild grain. Wonderfully enviting aroma.

Mouth is caramel and fruit, a mild ligering alcohol burn in it's aftermath.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Good Dubbel. Don't know much about the style so I don't have much to base it on yet, but I like it.

donteatpoop, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Brabander
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

This is my second Bernardus i am drinking in a week. This is a good one. Drank in my Westvleteren chalice. Pours a nice very lightbrown head which dissapears after a minute, i think because of the low carbonation. The beer has a very pleasant smell and a soft taste. Not as strong as the 12.

I had this one sven months later again and now the smell and taste of orange came up. A well balanced beer.

Brabander, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Although it bears an almost identical resemblance to the dark, shriveling skin of a dried Medjool date fruit, holding it into the light will reveal a more scarlet red toned beer. Little specs of yeast do sully complexion but don't hinder the beer's radiance. A smooth surfaced icing of off-white is laid out evenly over top and leaves quirky stamps of lace as it sinks.

The smell also bears resemblance to dried and over-ripened fruits - notably plums, nectarines, and again, dates. It smells of a sugary prune juice with yeasty bread cast over it. Both the fruitiness and bready features are savory and extremely mellowed. There's some indication of alcohol but it fits well within the ripened fruit and garlicky spice of the bouquet.

The malts contain the grainy taste of rye bread as well a light toasted quality. They are sweet but even more drying. A spread of currants, plums and raisins has been smeared all over these slices and furthers the ripened, dried fruit character. The phenols have quieted quite a bit although you might taste a bit of ginger or cinnamon and I continue to remark a clove-like, almost garlicky, character in the finish.

I'm finding the beer drying and not overly refreshing. That said, I imagine this could pair wonderfully along side a long list of dishes; the thought of having this at the table for fall-time harvest meals is mouth-watering. The alcohol isn't nearly as warming as I anticipated but then again everything about this beer seems to be refined and very mellowed.

Apparently St. Bernardus 8 doesn't crack the list of my favourite dubbels. Nevertheless, it's a beer I greatly enjoy. In an ideal world, this would be present at more dinner tables and in more cold cellars than is currently the case. This abbey may not have the legal rights to bear the Trappist logo, but their beers have every bit the same quality and historical significance.

biegaman, Feb 21, 2009
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,853 ratings.