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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.

1,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,826
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 99
Gots: 130 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Prior 8 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,826 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

01-11-2008 01:03:52 | More by wardough
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.

09-13-2005 03:17:38 | More by RedHaze
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.

12-03-2011 12:00:02 | More by TwelveOunces
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.

01-23-2006 14:00:47 | More by BeerNutta
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.

08-14-2003 12:51:47 | More by clvand0
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.

06-22-2010 02:58:10 | More by AgentMunky
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!

05-18-2006 00:52:43 | More by bigdeuce
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.

01-30-2011 06:04:10 | More by donteatpoop
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.

01-21-2010 22:06:35 | More by Brabander
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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.

02-21-2009 23:35:20 | More by biegaman
Photo of drabmuh


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Beer is served in a St. B goblet. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms a thin brown head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is estery and bready. Nice, mildly sweet. Overall nice.

Beer has a creamy body, fine bubbles round out the sweetness and the minor ester character. Beer is slightly bready and nice. Medium overall, high drinkability, a great obtainable dubbel.

07-28-2010 04:14:58 | More by drabmuh
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a corked magnum into a brandy snifter. The beer pours a not quite opaque dark brown with a great head that lasted and left spotty lacing. The aroma was of dried fruits, malts and some candi sugar. The taste was dominated by dried fruits with some molasses and dark malts. The beer was rather heavy and the alcohol was present. This one took me a while, but I did enjoy it.

06-11-2007 15:59:40 | More by atsprings
Photo of grittybrews


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured a hazy, nutty brown into a tulip with two fingers of light khaki yeast-flecked head. Mild biscuit/cookie aroma with gentle nutmeg and clove.

Slightly high carbonation and great mouthfeel -- full, creamy, and dry on the finish. Nutty biscuit up front followed by subtle banana, clove, and a slight tartness on the finish.

Nicely balanced, full-flavored, and completely easy-drinking. Very tasty and not too sweet.

08-24-2011 03:32:29 | More by grittybrews
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a St Berny chalice. Cloudy, brownish maroon beverage is released. A fairly decent head forms as well and then dissipates into a nice film on top of the beer.

Yeasty aroma with sweetness and spicy pepper, phenolic.

Taste is sweet and slightly alcoholic. Nice balance between malts and the small amount of hops in the taste as well.

Nice, clean and crisp mouthfeel. Carbonation is a plus in this one. Medium bodied and extremely drinkable.

01-19-2006 22:06:19 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of danielharper


4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

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

New York

4.14/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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

New York

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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

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


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

07-15-2009 00:57:07 | More by ProfessorCJ
St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,826 ratings.