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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: 2,225
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 135
Gots: 287 | 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: 2,225
Photo of EPseja
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice at just below cellar temperature.

Appearance: Active, heady pour that tames down to a central island of head surrounded by a moat of thin bubbles. Rich, murky translucent medium prune-juice brown in color. Some light sediment in suspension. Excellent lacing!

Smell: Warm toasted malts, brown sugar and yeasty fresh-baked dark banana bread. Some sweetness from the alcohol and the hops. Very nicely rounded.

Taste/Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Buttery caramel malty goodness right up front, turning to dark raisiny fruitiness, bananas foster and swelling alcohol in the middle. Finish lingers with some hop bitterness, but mostly tasty raisiny malt and alcohol. Excellently crafted; warming and satisfying. Mouthfeel remains pleasantly creamy without foaming despite the initial activity in the pour. Nice, easy drinking belgian dubbel considering the punch it packs.

Another great offering from St. Bernardus!

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky light shoe brown color, massive soapy tan head; incredible patchy lacing. Fruity aroma, plums and dark grapes, yeast and bubble gum detected as the head settles down. Creamy and pasty; the palate is rich and full, sugar, cotton candy, raisins and rum soaked nuts, should there be such a thing. An on-going and rotating offering of more flavorings, plums, cloves, and even some citrus. Belly warming affect, but not overpowering; flavorful and palate-pleasing, this is a winner. Drinkability is off the charts, dare I venture into ‘sessionable-Dubbel?’ A perfect offering for those just getting started on the Belgium side of the beer arena and a tasty treat for seasoned BA’s.

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Photo of Hagbard
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think St. Bernardus making some of the most classic Belgian beers on planet, and the Prior 8 is definitely no execption.

I actually drank this one with my girlfriend in the back of her car, not a bad place for a good brew.

The beer poured a deep chestnut brown with a MASSIVE head. I couldn't believe the explosion of fruit, bananas, clove, and spices that emerged. The aroma was incredible!

Then, the taste... less fruit and spice but more chocolate and nuttiness. Definitely a strong presence of dark grains, as the sharper flavors from dark malts had emerged. The hop presence was soft and muted, but enough to provide a decent balance to the beer.

The beer was medium to full-bodied, and had an expressive carbonation.

A pretty drinkable brew, but not as quaffable as a nice Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)
A-deep brown body that is pretty opaque. Smooth thick head that is tan, no carbonation visible in the glass.

S- light caramel, bread aroma with just a hint of perfume.

T- a little deeper roast that caramel maybe like a toffee with a bit of clove-like spiciness and some nice smooth alcohol warmth. Pretty dry finish with a nice hint of hops coming through at the end.

M- creamy medium body with a good carbonation on the tongue. The alcohol warmth doesn't last in the throat.

D- This is a very pleasant dubble that has good maltyness but not a complex as other dubbles I've had. It appears very simple but very elegant.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 08-07-09 so more then in time. Poors in with nice head thats very fine of cosistance and is lasting quiet well. Beercolor is deepbrown wit litle bronze tone if light falls on. Nos is very delicate. Lots of chocolate an caramel from malts that are there majorly but also good yeastspice. Taste is rich of taste also; malty, litle sweet and spicy again before going into a moderate bitterness thats clean. Creamy mouthfeel and a good cabonisation make mouthfeel to a pleasure too. Hell this is a good brew and would love to have anotherone!

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby with a frothy, well sustaining bubbly-beige head.

Smell: I can't put a finger on what it is I'm smelling, but the aroma of this beer is incredible!! Some sweet and bready malt notes, combined with a nice alcohol presence:

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a rich dark bread flavor initially, followed by a smooth, well-rounded alcohol taste that finishes juicy and full of flavor. The sweet notes are the most accented, and are apporiate for a Dubbel. The mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Another classic beer from St. Bernardus. A rich, full Dubbel that is full of complexity. The drinkability is brought down by the incredibly spicy alcohol presence that is left in the throat and belly. This is definitly one to try.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber with ruby tones on the edges. Nice healthy head of light tan that leaves heavy lacing as it falls.

Smells of yeast, bread made with nuts, bannanas and cloves. There's a certain hoppiness to the nose as well.

Tastes much like it smells with the hops and yeast noticable throughout. Excellent mouthfeel on this one.

Very drinkable. This is the third beer I have sampled from this brewery and each one has been stellar. Can't wait to try some of the other offering from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pouring of this beer produces an off-white head about one finger thick. This head goes down to form a nice layer of foam on top of the opaque garnet beer. Smell is a mixture of cranberry nut bread with strong hints of chocolate. The taste followed the same with a light cherry and cocoa palate. Mouthfeel is dry. I felt there was a bit much carbonation. A good beer and one I'd drink again.

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

Presentation: very beautiful belgian style silk screened 750ml. Lots of information like alcohol, storing temp, serving temp, story about the brewery, and the best before date stamped on the top. Says it can be stored for up to 10 years, serve between 50F-54F, store at 50F-54F

Appearance: ruby amber, clear with some yeast chunks floating. large tan head, excellent retention.

Nose: yeasty nuttiness, slight grainy bready malt, plums, slightly metallic and soapy with alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, carmalized sugars, very light phenol, medium hop bitterness. Astringent but sweet and smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: good body, a little on the bland side.

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

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet rich malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy flavor that boasts of roasted and Belgian crystal malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry and fruity with a warming aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an excellent Abbey ale. It has great flavor and aroma; a fine sessions beer.

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle that was part of a St. Bernardus gift pack, into the requisite St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance: Pours a milk chocolate brown with hints of orange hues. Nice head that disappears faily quickly.

Smell: A sweet fruit aroma, possibly apricots and hints of a dark bread and malt.

Taste: A sweet malt flavor is the initial flavor that comes to mind. Again, hints of fruit and bread and brown sugar, alcohol content is masked very well.

Mouth: Very smooth and silky.

Drinkability: This beer is drinkable but certainly not a session beer. Its very smooth but the sweetness could overhwelm if having more than 1 or 2. 8% alcohol content will creep up on you if not paying attention. Overall a very good beer, but a little sweet for me IMHO. Definately worth seeking out.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a hearty, cloudy brownish orange. Slight head appears, but subsides rather quickly.

The smell is subdued, but one can make out some floral notes, hints of fruit, spice and belgian malt. I can't quite pinpoint constituent ingredients, but the smell is quite pleasing.

The first taste explodes on the palette. Slightly astringent quality to the finish, but still drinkable and very enjoyable. Each taste brings something new to focus on. Mouthfeel is very good for a brew at 8%. Drinkability is good, although I can already sense the impending headache tomorrow morning.

Overall a very well balanced ale for the alcohol content. This was on sale at the local market for $2.99 a bottle. I'm glad I picked it up, although I don't know if I would pay 7 bucks for it I would definitely recommend anyone give it a try. Cheers.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully decanted from a long-standing bottle, the prior delivers a crystal-clear chestnut body with a reddish cast and amber and copper highlights. Its huge, pillowy off-white head holds incredibly well and leaves solid sheets of thin, creamy lace about the glass. And there's an added attraction in that you can see the thin rings left from each sip within the solid wall. Candy sugar sweetness, sweet wine, caramel, almond, and vanilla reside in the nose; and appear again in the flavor, balanced by some dark fruitiness (black cherry, plum, fig), alcoholic spice, and leafy hops. It's bitterness is restrained against it's sugary malt, but slowly fights its way through to dominate in the finish (although some splashes of sticky malt do linger). This is a rich, sweet, satisfying, and complex ale that never becomes cloying despite its breadth; and has a great drinkability despite its strength. Impressive!

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Photo of tatterdash
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany, with a big foamy tan head that laces, but not too much. Smell was a like weak, but was a pleasant fruity raisin. Taste was a very good caramelly dark fruit, which malts making an appearance and a bit of tartness in the finish. Creamy and smooth, this was a good Dubbel, but not a great Dubbel, still a good start to a night.

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

This one was amazing... a clear reddish-brown with a head so huge, that was all I poured into my 22 oz. pilsner glass. It was massive and rocky, and stayed for quite a while.

The aroma was very complex... rich malt, spicy, warm bread, apple cider, and more scents that I just couldn't identify.

The taste was very powerful... strong malt, quite a bit of mustiness, dark fruits and figs, well carbonated, and a blast of alcohol warmth.

This was a very good beer... I couldn't drink too much more of it though, one bottle was enough.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As always, this is an excellent brew from St. Bernadus. These monks have managed to bottle the heavenly nectar in a variety of different flavors. The beer pours to a dark nutty brown color with a thick off-white head. The opacity and carbonation of this brew give the appearance of a coca-cola, but the smell and the taste beg to differ. The smell is beatifully floral and fruity as one would expect from an abbey ale. The taste is very similar to the ABT12, but perhaps a little lighter, and definately lighter on the alcohol. It is very well balanced, though the delicious caramel malt obviously shines through along with other sweet candy flavors. I recommend this or any other St. Bernadus product to anybody.

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

Ordinarily I would be bowled over by this beer, but my fiance is drinking Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout tonight, and man, is that an amazing brew. So, somehow, this great beer comes off like leftovers to me. That said, its still darn tasty.

Appearance: A dark brown, roasted chestnut hue. Typical pour produces about 2 inchs of head, which fades somewhat, but about a half hour after I poured it their is still a decent head in my chalice.Plenty of lacing. Would have given it a five, but the head on the Yeti had peaks, like merigue.

Smell: Very unique, even among St. B. brews. Raisins, Alcohols, and sweetness. Perhaps a bit of a sour/spoiled smell. Almost made me wonder if the bottle was bad, but it tasted sooo good.
spicy, fruity nose, a bit like Corsendonk brown perhaps.

Taste: More estery fruitiness. As I said before, similar to raisins but not quite. More like raisins made from chardonnay grapes soaked in brandy? But perhaps I am just talking out my arse. Anyways... Its sweet, with alcohols behind the other flavors.

Drinkablity. If I could afford it, I could drink this beer all day long. It would probably have to be a relatively cool day. Perhaps while skiing. In a flask perhaps. No, alcohol and skiing don't mix well. But Alcohol from St. Bernardus mixes well with just about anything.

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


pours like orangy rootbeer with a huge poofy head that never goes away and leaves strata of lacing down the glass. the aroma was of spicey bread and dark fruit. on the tongue, sweet malt with dark fruit and lots of raisin. the slight alcohol spice was nicely warming. tingly bubbles danced around and my mouth just couldn't bear to swallow the stuff

i could drink it all night (and day). delicious

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Photo of mynie
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very pretty chocolate brown with an incredible 2 finger head. Tight bubles and murky foam. Really nice.

Rich odors of fruits and malts. Apricots and dark grapes. There's a strange, zippy alcohol smell in there, too.

The solvent alcohol is intense and quite present. This beer zips and zaps your tongue. The harsh fruits come in towards the back, hardily intensified by the alcohol, along with some nuts and a hint of buttery diacetyl.

After grow more accustom to the zip, I'm upping the drinkability to 4.0. Like any good Dubble, it keeps getting better as the bottle gets lower.

There's alot going on here, but not all of it's good. This beer just doesn't have the same cohesive *bang* of a better-balanced dubble. It's still pretty darn good, though.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murkey brown color wtiha nice 2 finger head that falls to thickly coat the beer. The nose is sweet raisiney fruity. Very mellow and pretty much what I was hoping to smell. There is some alcohol in there as well, but just as an afterthought. The flavor is very nice. A smooth raisiney character is put alongside a slightly roasted character, not quite chocolatey, but just a hint of roasted. What a nice nice beer. The feel is right at moderate thickess, but as smooth as a beer has ever been. This could make a run at the 12 for my favorite beer from these people. I do recommend this one.

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

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)

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Photo of Citadel82
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle though the local buy-rite has the big ones as well.

Pours a deep ruby brown into the signature goblet, reminiscent of port wine with a thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing.

Smells of fresh bread dough, very yeasty with plums and rasins as it warms.

The taste is malty at first then alcohol then bitter hop dyness.

Medium bodied with some carbonation long after the pour

This is definitely a great beer to sip while reading or working on the web.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a medium brown/tan head. Lots of sediment in the bottom of the bottle (and later my glass).

Smell: A mix of dark malts and alcohol - plum aroma kicks in as it warms up to room temperature.

Taste: Very sweet, very sugary. Has some subtle fruit notes, but it dries up to a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is a well rounded, medium thickness that has a slippery quality on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is worth a repeat.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $13.99 for the 4-piece sampler with 'sniffer' glass...

The beer pours a nice brownish cherry color with very large tannish-white head exceptional retention and exceptional lacing effects, a perfect appearance. The aroma is bold, one of extreme malts and a few spicy and fruit tones too.

The taste is heavy malts, light apples, touch of alcohol in the end, very solid. The moutfeel is very nice, light on the palette and extremely smooth going down, very impressive. The drinkability is also high, with the fact that's it's this smooth and a 8% abv, this is very drinkable, a 3 beers at a session will push you back 10 bucks.

Final Thought: This is quite a remarkable beer.

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