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St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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1,043 Reviews
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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Reviews: 1,043 | Ratings: 2,366
Photo of microbrewlover
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a dark brown with red highlights when held up to the light. There is a two finger off white foamy head, some of which sticks around until the end. Mild lacing.

The smell is full of yeast and fruits, plums, apples, pears and berries; sugar and molasses too. Wait a little for it to warm up and the smells become more pronounced.

The taste follows the nose with lots of yeast and sugar to start then the molasses comes in. The fruit bouquet comes in at the finish. The finish is clean and creamy. Slightly carbonated with no real hop presence to speak of. The feel is filling, creamy and a little chewy all at once.

Overall, this is a good beer; try it.

 671 characters

Photo of EMV
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown... hints of crimson at the edges at I hold it up to the light. 2 fingers of tannish head.. spectacular lacing.

S: Dark fruits and darker sugars... molasses.. raisins and plums... yeasty bread.

T/F: Rich and complex... just like the nose, the dark fruits and sugars dominate. Strong yeast esters... lots going on, and the flavors merge very nicely. Slightly warming. Silky smooth and creamy. Good carbonation... tingles on the tip of my tongue after the swallow.

O: Possibly my favorite Dubbel.... just a great beer and they nailed the style.

 628 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark rich chestnut ale, slightly translucent, with a cream head. Head is solid but not too foamy unless poured aggressively. Nose yeasty, spicy, creamy, and caramel in a nice balance. Taste develops slowly, with a flavor arc that grows and fades like only the best beers (or wines). Dark fruits like figs and dates. Caramel candy. Dark spices. Aftertaste is more of a warm glow than anything. Mouthfeel just right for the style: smooth and creamy but not at all loose or flabby, with a clean ending. Fabulous beer.

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Photo of davidperez
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best before 08/07/18

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, it pours a deep, murky, dark brown with an orange hue, with plenty of sediments floating. It looks similar to a tamarind infusion.
It forms a two-finger head, light brown, sudsy and foamy with good retention.
The head never fully dissipates. It leaves a persistent thin layer of foam, yet thick enough to look as a head and not as remnant foam.
Beautiful lacing.

Appealing bouquet.
Lots of malts in the form of caramel and biscuit. Toffee and brown sugar add complexity to such sweetness. Butter and a good amount of cherry, dark fruits as in prune, raisins and dates. Subdued spicy yeast, a faint booze note.
After swirling a metallic note appears, as well as some earthy hoppiness. The metallic note disappeared after a while.

What an explosive carbonation.
Right after, a surprise: a semi-dry beer. The bouquet really set a trap with its mild sweetness.
A thrust of an assertive flavor, predominantly bitter and perhaps even slightly acidic, with a touch of sweetness. The bitterness has a touch of earthiness, and it dries your mouth. The acidic note does remind you of wine, and the sweetness delivers some notes. Dark fruits, cherry, spiciness, toffee. Phenols and metallic taste are a constant underlying note for this beer's flavor.
The aftertaste is more expressive sweetness-wise, but it develops into a bitterness that coats and dries your palate.
Medium to full body, smooth.

Complex, interesting and excellent beer.

 1,498 characters

Photo of larryarms847
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty orange hued brown with a bit of particulate and a cola like bubbly head of carbonation that dissipates rapidly.

Peach, apricot, spicy yeast phenols, herbal, white grapes, and slight plum notes.

Caramel and almost baker's spices like character right off the bat accompanied by a sweet peach and apricot fruitiness.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, bubbly, dry finish.

Overall, not my favorite offering from the brewery, but nonetheless a damn good beer.

 471 characters

Photo of FBarber
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat opaque orangish brown with a two finger tan head that dissipated slowly leaving a thin head on the beer.

Smell has aromas of brown sugar, toffee, apricots, ripe grapes, and some yeasty spice notes. Very fruity aroma that pops as the beer warms. There is a it of an aluminum smell as well, but subtle, albeit not all that pleasant.

Taste has notes of apricots, dates, and ripe grapes - almost a white wine grape-esque note. Bit of brown sugar comes through with a pleasant spicy finish from the yeast. There is a very noticeable aluminum flavor on the finish that lingers and is pretty unpleasant. If that wasn't there this would be an top notch dubbel, but I just can't get past that aluminum taste.

Feel is excellent - plenty of carbonation, smooth, and drinkable with a nice dry finish.

Overall this was a really good beer. Great flavors for a dubbel, nice spicy finish from the yeast, it was all there, but that mild aluminum smell and flavor was just too distracting. I'll have to revisit this one again to see if that was just from the bottle I had, or if its a character of the beer itself.

 1,121 characters

Photo of teromous
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the back label: "A 07 05 19"

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dark brown color allowing no light through. The head is a very thick flat-topped creamy cloud with a light khaki appearance. Outstanding head formation and retention.

Aroma: I am getting a bit of an herbal hop aroma with some spicy peppery scents. After pouring the entire bottle I noticed a bit of a metallic aroma.

Taste: It starts out with this malty flavor that isn't too sweet or toasted but has a rather earthy quality to it. That deep earthy quality blends towards a bit of a prune flavor and mixes with what kind-of tastes like copper. The end is this woody flavor. At times while drinking the beer I got small bits of cherry-like flavor with some tobacco character.

Mouthfeel: It has a sharp carbonation and a nice bitter edge at the end of drinking each sip of beer. It isn't a beer I would really drink "straight through" but rather somewhere between a sipper and an easy drinker. The mouthfeel is medium and the finish has this effervescence that cleans the palate with the exception of a slight bitter woody tinge that lingers.

Overall: It's a good beer and I would recommend it. It was very enjoyable and it had a lot of character that I feel is unique to this beer alone. For that reason (uniqueness) I would further recommend the beer. It has this deep dark woody and earthy character that works well. I would drink it again.

 1,418 characters

Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Taste: spiced, bold earthy, with notes of clove and wild yeast. Complex candi sugar and bread nose.
Brown/amber color, unfiltered with refine bubbled head. Alcohol finish liquid breads that sustained the monks.

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Photo of RickS95
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An opaque, medium brown pour with a finger of contrasting off white head. The beer is only clear enough to show some particles in suspension. The head retains pretty well; comes back to life with each swirl; and leaves more and more lace as the beer warms.

My beer is still a little on the cool side so I'm struggling to pick up the full bouquet but I am getting some caramel malt, traditional dark fruit, and a bit of the Belgian yeast in the way of pepper.

Everything comes together nicely in the taste. The caramel blends well with the peppery yeast for balance. The hops provide for an earthy taste, particularly from mid-sip on.

At only 8% ABV, it gives an almost light bodied feel, though it's the first beer I've had in a while below 9 or 10 percent so it could just be me. The malts start the party with a gentle sweetness and the hops finish things with a crisp bitterness and slightly sour feel.

I'm not a big fan of Abt 10 though I love their Christmas Ale, however, this is a really nice beer that kind of splits the difference between the two.

 1,067 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle into a goblet.

Pours a viscous brown and produces a bursting, frothy head. Surprised as generally when I use this particular goblet, it has some magical effect that kills foam. Liquid in the glass is brown with a bright amber color. Lace remains as a ring on the perimeter of the glass.

The smell and flavor remind me a lot of a rye bread kind of sweet and kind of spicy, and there's a yeasty note injecting some flowery and earthy notes. The finish lingers with touches of brown sugar. Some of the flavors approach a raisiny fruitiness, but in general this is way more bread-heavy.

I guess I touched on it but I'll repeat that this has that bready malt sort of sweetness, a prominent yeasty feel and a lingering finish like when you taste a rich, fresh loaf of dark bread.

I like this beer but generally find that dubbels don't deliver for me in the way that a quad does.

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Photo of Dzu
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Very dark-brown with a foam head.
S: Dark bread, weak sweety.
T: Dark fuits, berries , bread and some magical ingredient :- )
F: Fantastic smooth. Perfect alcohol hiding.
O: Another great ale from St. Bernardus! Love it!

 223 characters

Photo of tlema1
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L; brown and red, with a long lasting tight white head
S: it smells Belgian
T: some sweetness, dark fruits
F: coats the tongue, very carbonated
O: a good example of this style, but it's not a style I'm crazy about

 217 characters

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

From bottle, pours a hazey brown colour with a small tan head that disapates to a thin layer. Aroma caramel, dark fruits, clove, spices. Taste sweet, dark fruits, malty, spices.

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Photo of SirLoopsAlot
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely delicious Belgian Dubbel. Bready with notes of honey, caramel, cola, and raisin. Overall taste is balanced but fairly sweet with no bitterness. Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Will definitely get this again.

 220 characters

Photo of Zet
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy dark amber with a full head of foam that retains very well. A full nose of liquorice, toffee and chocolate, but the smell gets weaker quite fast. The taste is rich with flavours like caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, resin and yeast. Some raisin flavour as well, but this dubbel doesn't have the dark fruit prominence many other dubbels have. There seem to be more german doppelbock flavours actually. Mouth feel is very smooth due to the yeast, especially near the end.

 474 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it pours a hazy brown with a nice head, remaining thick for a while. Lacing. Sweetish raisins (?) in the nose, pleasantly slightly sweet malt in the mouth. Yum!

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Photo of SFNC
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into tulip.
Look; Cloudy amber to brown with a tight, fluffy head, The head has some real staying power, plus some major lacing.
Smell; Sweet, metallic, spicy, especially the clove. A tad boozy as well. The smell is strong, but seems slightly harsh.
Taste; Rich malts, sweet, some fruit like depth. The yeast is present and the alcohol as well. You can luxuriate in each sip.
Feel; Very carbonated, so much so that it gives a bit of a bite. Smoother on the back end.
Overall; A very good Dubbel, quite enjoyable, a drink to savor. A tip of the hat to the smiling Monks!

 587 characters

Photo of drmeto
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-pours a cloudy brown with orange tinges and a big,foamy,offwhite head
-caramel,toffee,spicy,chocolate,brown bread,slight plums,slight raisins
-caramel,toffee,toasty,brown sugar,spicy,brown bread,raisins
-medium body,
-medium to carbonation
-alcohol noticeable on the finish
A fine Dubbel

 303 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown with an off white head which formed even with the slowest of pours.

Smelling raisins and plums galore. A bit of alcohol as well.

Very sweet taste. Again raisins and plums. Maltiness. Theres definitely more but I have trouble isolating smells/tastes in Belgians.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel on the palate.

Great beer.

 334 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 barczar
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 2013, so score set to current average.

Aroma is rich with dark candi sugar, molasses, dates, raisins, figs, apple, pear, and a touch of clove. Very complex.

Flavor is certainly on the sweet side, though the fruity esters counter nicely, adding a bit of sharpness. Extremely smooth and drinkable.

 305 characters

Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.96/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Poured into a Chimay chalice. Body is a hazy chocolate brown with plenty of sediment, head is 1/3 finger width and creamy tan.

S: Spiced dark fruits and cake, sweet caramel, and bready toasted malt.

T: Same as the nose. Also contains vanilla.

F: Surprisingly light bodied with medium carbonation. Warming when swallowed.

 328 characters

Photo of Salt-n-Beer
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Artwork: I never liked St.Bernardus' labels. The bright colors, the cartoon-like monk and the weird font makes this beer look like a knock-off product.

Appearance: Purple brown with some yeasty floaties (even though I poured most of the yeast in a separate contained, some of it made its way into the main glass). Medium size head.

Nose: Smells sweet. Some honey, dates and bread.

Taste: Malts, caramel, dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Medium body.

Overall: This is the second time I try this particular beer and while I liked it I have trouble convincing myself that I would want to buy it again. I can't quite tell why but I feel like it's a bit one-dimensional and boring. Nothing off-putting or anything, it's just that I've had other Dubbels that I found more enjoyable.

 791 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany color, murky with lots of particles floating. Thick, light tan head.

Dark fruit, vanilla, cloves, caramel.

Deep creamy malts, caramel, brown sugar, semi dark roast. Dark fruit, prunes and dates. Vanilla beans, some cloves. Nice bitterness towards the end. Finish is tart and clean. Full bodied, chewy, very smooth, a bit boozy.

It's an outstanding Belgian Abbey Ale.

 436 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pour a nice dark golden brown into a chalice. Great slightly sweet floral smell with a nice head and good lacing. Great taste! Raisin bread, cherries. Richer taste as it warms.

 176 characters

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,366 ratings.
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