St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,422 Ratings
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium
sintbernardus.be

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 09-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,422
Reviews:
1,059
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
8.43%
 
 
Wants:
159
Gots:
373
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,422 |  Reviews: 1,059
Photo of putnam
4.95/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Primal forces of nature were disturbed when I uncapped my 33cl bottle. Impatient, sluggish masses of foam ooze out of the bottle. It's darker brown than the pater 6.
Brown sugar and spice are accompanied by zesty, winey fruits of boysenberry, plum and melon on the nose. Also present are notes of anise, vanilla, nutmeg and broth.
On the palate it's dry, with brown, braised nuts folding into vanilla bean into date into pepper. Slatey, intense mineral dryness cleanses the long finish.
Wow!

 494 characters

Photo of FieldingWater
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of TPatterson70
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer. More like a Flemish Sour Ale.

41 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.93/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Two and a half finger white head speckled with brown dead yeast, milk chocolate hazy body.

Smell: Dark fruits, spices, banana, wheat, and notes of chocolate and honey.

Taste: See above.

Feel: Medium body, Medium-high carbonation, semi-dry, and a small alcohol burn.

Other: Strangely has a slight dunkelweizen aspect to the flavor and aroma.

 350 characters

Photo of Darkman89
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A personal favorite this has exceptional balance and incredible flavor for a true Belgian beer.

95 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a muddy brown color...whisp of a head....nice sweet dark fruit nose....I'm thinking rum soaked black cherries and sugar glazed plums...also a poppyseed muffin aroma...the carbonation is punched up quite a bit and that provides a zesty mouthfeel...medium bodied...richly sweet but the carbonation cuts into it some.taste is big on the dark fruits...almost a hint of doppelbock like sweetness...

This might be a little too sweet for some but I love it....dubbels are one of my least favorite belgian styles but this might be the best I've had...I'd gladly drink these all winter long...

My scores 5.0 scores all teeter between 5.o and 4.5....being this is one of the best dubbels I've had I rounded up...

 714 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 330ML bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice fruit and malt aroma.
Appearance- Pours a reddish brown with a lot of floating sediment. Has a tan head.
Taste- Has a very balanced flavor with a great pairing of malt and fruit.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate to high carbonation
Oveall- Another excellent brew from St. Bernardus.

 357 characters

Photo of Wilshade
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dubbel Ale
ABV: 8%
Glassware: Chalice

Appearance: Beautiful ruby brown body with a thin, lustrous and creamy tan head.

Smell: Malty and fruity with a hint of coconut.

Taste: Nicely balanced between bitter and sweet. Malt and fruit notes well blended.

Mouth feel: Smooth, but lively on the tongue.

Overall: Very nice abbey. The 8% ABV is well hidden, but it kicks in fairly quickly. This one goes into my personal rotation.

 428 characters

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.

 501 characters

Photo of anexetastos
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

what can i say? i have a weakness for belgian beers made properly. and this one is made very much properly.

the colot is a deep, rich amber without the yeast poured in, but an more cloudy opaque amber with the yeast swirled and poured in. as expected, the beer with the yeast has a nuttier flavor profile. without the yeast, which on this one i prefer, it is pure heavenly. i am surprised that they bill this as a dubbel, because it is quite heavy in the mouthfeel for a double, but the flavor and nose are absolutely perfect. i have now consumed over the last week four of these tasty brews, and there is no variability between them. each is just as right as the one before. i am thoroughly impressed.

cheers.
kelly

 719 characters

Photo of frank4sail
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew blew me away.. Brown/ruby color in the goblet. Huge beige head. Nutty (hazelnut) orange peel smell. Persistant 1 inch head. Smooth clove, nutty , cinnamon, chocolate taste. Very smooth fuller mouth. This is the beer to drink while sitting by the fire on a cool night with your dog by your side. Soo rich, smooth, and comforting. What a Dubbel should be... excellent!

 376 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

delaney's new haven, 4/17/05

appearance: brown and dark with red highlights, patchy belgian head with wisps and beautiful marbled lacing in a red wine glass.

aroma: sweet candi sugar and malts. perfect belgian aroma, excluding the somewhat metallic and off-type scents a bottle can breed. wonderful and subtle scent.

taste: intense bitter malt with a sweet finish. lots going on here. fruits, of the darker raisiny variety, are well-obscured in the background. trappist perfection. room temp and a lack of substantial carbonation are soothing and add the slickest, pristine character to this fine brew. one that should be sampled on tap above the 12.

might i also add that i had this recently at eli's and it wasn't quite as good. as the bartender at delaney's observed, clean lines can make a dark belgian...

 821 characters

Photo of InkedinRi
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer.. It's a go to beer! Feel is nice and smooth!! Smells so nice.. Taste is great banana, candy fruits.. It's got it all!

146 characters

Photo of yelterdow
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fabulous find. Purchased in March, 2006... the bottle reads (in Spanish, French, and Flemish) "best before end 2004"! This baby's got at least two years of age behind it, and I can't wait to see what has happened in the bottle.

Served at between cellar and fridge temperature in a Chimay chalice for maximum action.

Appearance- Pours a solid, heavy caramel brown with a terrific bone white, soapy head. The body here is extremely weighty... it looks serious. The two-finger crown mellows out to a soapy mat and leaves behind good sheets of lacing. Towards the end, I elect to swirl in all sediment... the result is a gorgeous, *gluggy* looking beer that speaks volumes in maturity and character.

Smell- Wow... here are some kicked up, sugary dark fruits (fig, date, some banana), molasses, and a little alcohol. Huge, fat malty notes doused in brown sugar are exploding in the nose. A carnival of aromas, all blended nicely together.

Taste- Smooth, rich, and totally malt-driven display of candied fig, date, and toffee flavors... with a beautiful finish that leaves a subtle "grittiness" that makes this feel all the more like dessert, not a beer. Outstanding length, it seems like hours from the sip right on through the swallow. After swirling in the sediment near the end, I bump this taste up a half-point to a perfect "5"... it's that good. The alcohol (8%) is nowhere to be found in the taste, but its warmth shows up calmly halfway through the review.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Delightfully full and rich, the carbonation is as sublime as anything I have ever experienced... I'm talking smooth, slick, seafoamy perfect, like nothing else. This is actually the finest mouthfeel to date of any beer of any style I've tried. If you see this beer aged two years, buy it... then drink it.

It's hard to put into words the overall beauty of something so phenomenal, but I guess the numbers will have to speak for themselves for now. Excellent, excellent beer, I can't recommend this one highly enough aged as this one was.

 2,041 characters

Photo of Sheldog
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of czechsaaz
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The aroma of the ABT 8 is incredibly complex. Lots of chocolate malt combined with fruity fermentation esters (think raisins and dates) give it a candy bar type feel. Underneath the specialty malts and yeast effect is a ton of malty Belgian Pils malt aroma. Sweet.but not sugary. There's a bit of sherry that might be a little oxidation but I think it adds to the complexity.

Deep brown color, clear with a nice head that lingers as a 1/4 inch layer of tan foam that leaves pretty amazing lacing in the glass.

Taste is more of the same in complexity. Starts off malty sweet with a good dose of what tastes like crystal malt. Then the chocolate flavor kicks in with the amazing yeast profile. The yeast character gives it a ton of fruit, plums and apricots and peaches, while also giving it a bready or earthy character. There's a little pepper spice on the back end and a lingering anise flavor in the aftertaste. Bittering hops are just enough to be perceptable but oveall a malty-sweet beer.

Medium bodied and incredibly creamy. Carbonation level is a little light.

Drinkability is very nice. it's a strong beer, but not a knockout. The flavors blend really well together. I'm thinking of a ton of food pairings that would work, from sweet deserts to spicey chilis and I think all would work well. But it's also got enough heft to be a sipper by itself. This is the star of the St. Bernardus line i.m.o.

 1,417 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An '06 11.2 oz bottle...
Appears a hazy deep burgendy toned mahogany with a 2 finger head of tan fluff. Retention is nice as is slowly fades into a pillowy cap. Scattered chunks of hearty lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of liquid raisin bread with notes of caramel, figs, plums, and brown sugar. Heaven in a glass.
Taste is of doughy yeast with smooth caramel, light spice, and raisin bread flavors that make this an addictive beer. I need to buy a case of this asap.
Mouthfeel is silky smooth, mildly warming, chewy with doughy, raisiny flavors lingering.
This small bottle version is much, much better than the 25 ouncer, IMO.

 640 characters

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.

 713 characters

Photo of diablo14
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! what a beer. i cant remember being so moved by a beer since the first time i had gouden carolus. a total gem.

poured with one of the most intriuging colors ive ever seen. almost a puce like color, it resembled fresh dark grape juice. if anyones been to a grape stomping festival youll know what i mean. marvellous head also. beige color that was speckled with brown and remained huge throughout. magnificent nose, a real sensory awakening. huge malt factor, chocolatey, dried fruits present, wonderful sweet candy sugar and yeast aromas. flavors resemble the same, with cloves, and also had the taste of new red grapes as well as dried, with citrus zest also. some toffee like tinges coming thru too. has a medicinal character with a great hop balance that wasnt bitter, but had a lovely dryness. totally perfect. rich and incredibly clean all at once. reminded me a little of norfolk punch. not to mention the multitude of jets that were shooting up the side of my duvel glass for the whole perimeter. spectacular.

one of the truly great belgian beers and one ill be giving further inspection for the rest of my beer drinking life. fair dinkum, beer drinking doesnt get much better than this. a bona fide classic.

 1,226 characters

Photo of evanwoertz
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of aaronh
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Walnut colored body topped by a great, clinging tan head. Aroma is sweet, with nice fruity scents, a touch of oaken vanilla, and caramelized sugars. Flavor is complex, with cherry fruit, vanilla, caramel, a touch of dark chocolate, and figs. A slight bitterness shows through, then more sweet malt and fruit flavors come through. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, with pretty much perfect carbonation. Drinkability is superb. This is definitely a great experience. The Pater is good, but this is twice as nice.

 513 characters

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

Nice mahogany colour, with orange hints when held to the light... Off-white, healthy head holds nicely.

The smell carries a dark maltiness laced with spice, and some hops near the end. There are hints of orange and papaya here.

On first taste, you're hit by a subtle spiciness that builds in the back of the mouth, and moves forward in a wave that releases a dark maltiness along with a bit of brown sugar, orange, and just hint of cherry. It's also a bit yeasty. And maybe I'm imagining it, but there seems to be an ever so subtle cinnamon tone in it.

On the mouth, there's a tight fizziness up front that gives way to a pleasant slightly thick consistency, and just a touch of sliminess on the front of the tongue, that is not unpleasant.

I find this rather drinkable, but at 8%, it better not be an extended session. Very nice. This will NOT be my last encounter with Prior 8.

Be well
-UF

 907 characters

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.

 685 characters

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

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Light beige head, good retention on a hazy, amber body. Soapy, suddsy, sticky lacing. Aroma is vanilla, raisin, biscotti, fig, feint chocolate. Taste closely follows the aromas. Alcohol is very well hidden, this beer is extremely easy to drink for 8%. Delicious in every way, shape and form.

 342 characters

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

Bought this in Brooklyn for a very reasonable price. The beer store was phenomenal and had all the biggies (out of Rochefort 10) It was being a kid at Xmas at that place. Drinking this in my Corsendonk glass and...

App--slightly lighter than the Abt 12, but still a beautiful brown color that a fantastic dubbel owns. Nice three finger head which only adds to the look.

S--so complex. tones of fruit make for a wonderful admixture

Taste--Oh St. Bernardus, here you go again. wonderful taste that makes your mouth happy. so much going on, flavor galore.

Mouthfeel--Silk, just great

Drinkability--Not quite the abt 12, but just on the heels and good enough to still score a 5. This is one of the best beers in the world and one I would gladly drink everyday of my life. Nice heady beer that is must drink, especially if you love the best...Belgian beer.

 867 characters

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,422 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More