St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,057 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,057
Ratings:
2,412
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
8.43%
 
 
Wants:
158
Gots:
367
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,057 | Ratings: 2,412
Photo of jjanega08
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my St. B goblet
A= a very dark brown color that almost comes to black. The two finger heafd lifts up and leaves a head that covers the top nicely leaving behind decent lacing
S= tart grannysmith apples and a yeasty odor comes out.
T= the apples taste more red now like a sweeter tart apple. The yeast is still there. There's a small amount of hop bitterness.
M= high carb but very crisp and refreshing. Totally not expected from the color
D= pretty average. Not my style but very tasty

 498 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Leaves a tan one finger head with good retention and good lacing. Body is a hazy garnet.

Smell - horse blanket, caramel, figs, and raisins. Alcohol is well hidden.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, caramel, figs, and raisins washed down with medinical and alcohol phenolics. Alcohol is mostly well hidden.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and dry.

Drinkability - I find this to be good, but not great. I will have this on occaision. High abv also supresses sessionability.

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Photo of TerryW
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cola or coffee-like appearance with a good-sized and long-lived head that leaves behind chunky lace.

Nose is gentle with a touch of raisin and whiff of alcohol. Quite bready as well. Appetizing.

Somewhat sweet to start with but quickly evens out into something slightly dry and almost chalky in character. Nice lingering mouthfeel and flavour with a hint of cocoa and raisins. A hint of alcohol as the beer starts to warm up.

Decent, competent beer. Nice finish.

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Photo of velkyal
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In many ways this beer was pretty much as I expected, being a Belgian Abbey Ale and having an "8" in the title, immediately made me think of the Rochefort 8, and indeed it pours a similar cloudy brown although with a more frothy head, tinged with beige. The nose was malty, with touches of cocoa. The maltiness of the nose came through again in the sweetness of the beer, although the body was on the thinner side of the Rochefort, which while not reaching the heights of those august ales is no bad thing.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip.

A: pours a dark brown, even after a gentle pour there is a rather obnoxious three finger slightly browned head that takes a good while to dissapte, and also despite the gentle pour and leaving a bit in the bottom of the bottle there is still a good deal of sediment to be seen floating about in the glass.... Excellent lacing.

S: bready yeast with a him if nuttyness. Also a bit perfumy with some darkfruit sweetness.

T: sweet dark fruit notes balanced with a bready yeastyness, again a bit of floral/herby as well. Brown sugar, raisin. Grainy nuttyness.

M: creamy heavy medium mouthfeel with medium lightly crisp creamy carbonation.

O: a decent beer, but honestly I am a bit underwhelmed here, deffiantly would take a rochefort 8 over this one.

 794 characters

Photo of Prufrock
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a wine glass.

murky medium brown with an inch of foamy, tan head. leaves excellent lacing.

aroma of bready malts, bananas, and caramel. touch of butter as well.

bready maltiness with a nice sweet aftertaste. medium mouthfeel with a nice prickly carbonation.

nice clean finish for excellent drinkability. 8% isn't noticeable.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pured with a frothy off white head. Brown, but has some ruby and purpleish hues when held to light. I get very little from the aroma. Maybe some chocolate, raisin, mostly malt.Fairly heavy on the palate. Light carbanation. No real sign of the 8% alcohol until you swallow, and the just a hint. I’d say I’d go buy another couple of bottles and put the in the cellar, but I don’t think that is what this beer needed. Actually, this beer is probably exactly as intended, just not wowing me

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of sourdough and earthy yeast. The color of watered down coffee with a nice finger of tan head. Some of that breadiness comes back again in the palate, a bit dry and crisp with a medium body and some spicy alcohol. Definitely let it warm.

A nice dubbel, a little too brut for my taste but still a worthwhile visit.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 for a 11.2oz bottle in 2006. 28-04-09 on the back of the bottle. Re-reviewed 11-27-10, I paid $25.99 for a mixed 6 pack of the breweries beers. 8.0% ABV.

Pours to a cloudy mahogany with ruby accents, forming a very creamy soft light yellow head. Abundant yeast in the bottle. In the middle of the head is a small plume as a result of the steady carbonation of the beer, it's excellent head retention and the shape of the Chimay glass I'm drinking it out of. Brussels lace is fine and solid. The aroma is just OK...green apples and bananas, distant malt vinegar, and mild grassy hops. No real Belgian funk character. Wooden cask character is appreciated as it warms and is swirled. Alcohol is imperceptable in nose. The mouthfeel is lively, moderately tart, with a mild ruddiness and alcoholic astringency to the finish. Medium-light body, actually, lighter than expected. The taste starts out with green apples, lemon, and green bananas, and is followed by subtle figs and a mild bitterness. The finish is dry, woody and earthy. Alcohol presence is unassuming. This beer definitely improves as it gets warm, but it's still not really a winner.

"Dubbel Light" is the best description of this beer. It doesn't do much for me. It looks and smells nice but has a very one dimensional taste. Too dry and it has minimal residual sugars, like Shiraz that is steeped in tobacco. I'm not inclined to buy it again.

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Photo of 100floods
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a caracole tulip glass. Pours a dark, murky amber with a cream white head with some decent lacing afterwords. Heavy carbonation. Pours with a sound like a bubbly soda. There are subtle sweet, prune/light fruitty aromas hiding in there, but not much on the surface. The aromas are nice and clean.

I am having trouble gathering my taste buds around this one. There's a nice heavy body, which helps even out the carbonation but there's also this kinda sweet, sugar feel to it as well. I am also experiencing a creaming aspect as well. I'm thinking root beer or cream soda (maybe even a dull vanilla?), but very mild in comparison. Everything seems hidden in there.

I have had this beer before and i don't remember it tasting like this. This is not to say I am disappointed, just I remember this beer differently. I wonder what aging would do to this one. Good beer, just not what I remembered.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Phenomenal presentation; takes up temporary refuge in a chalice a buckeye-colored brew with concentric foam ripples around a nippled and incessant head.

Nose is pungent yet not all that appealing: predominantly yeasty in nature...dried fruits, rum, raisins.

Was this beer stored upside down? I remember splitting a 750 of this with a friend a few years ago and it tasted phenomenal. This...is not. Incredibly beercap-like flavors taint the nose, but underneath is a tea-like fallen leaf profile. Mulled cider impressions, leathery esters, and finally, a brown-sugar and rum afterglow. Minerally. A dry bitterness lingers across the tongue, leading the desire for another sip in hopes of redemption.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasurable, especially with the soft and foamy intro and the somewhat addictive overall droughtiness on the tongue. Aforementioned metallic twinges destrac, however.

Well, compared to the 'drink 'til you are dead' nectar that is the Abt 12, this is utterly forgettable. Next time i'll be sure to purchase this in the 750mL package to see if this was just a case of poor-handling or excessive age.

 1,128 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very good beer, but I'm not diggin' it as much as I thought I would. The jolly Friar on the bottle suggested that it would make me very happy, and I while I have a smile on my face I'm not running off to join Robin Hood and his band of merry men. Pours beautifully, and after 15 minutes it's still holding a bit of head. Lacing is french vanilla white and runs up the entire length of the glass. Malty, malty, malty; smelling and tasting creamy. Carbonation is very high, which may be putting me off a bit. It's reminding me of seltzer water and I never drink seltzer. Alcohol taste is muted, but it does give me a nice warm burn. I'd drink it again, but there are other trappists I'd put way ahead of it.

 707 characters

Photo of JBogan
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky medium brown with ruby tint. Bubbly one finger head which stayed all the way through and left minimal lacing in my glass.

Smelled of fruits, malt and alcohol. A little cocoa as well.

Tasted as it smelled, except the alcohol became more prevalent as it warmed.

Mouthfeel was good, with a medium body and lots of carbonation fizz.

A good beer to try at least once but not one I'll seek out again. Nothing really special for a beer of it's type, bot not bad either.

 481 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

PLEASE ADVISE: this is review of a 1 year vintage (purchase on date 7/13/15).
330 cl bottle into St. Bernardus glass had at room temp

A: Generous, beige, three-finger head with good retention, soapy and thick, a deep almost opaque brown with hints of a ruby red color, excellent retention
S: immediate bread and candi sugar (a lot of candy sugar) followed by a distinctively malty note as well as some raisin and grape, maybe even some cinnamon
T: I immediately pick up a somewhat chocolate-esque note (strange because I have had this beer many times and such a flavor; to me, has never even been hinted at), like a deep non-powder based hot cocoa, the malt is there but for the moment that cocoa note is really dominating, a little bit of tartness does come through as the beer sits along with sweet malt and candi sugar and a bit of astringency (a soapy character) but honestly not a lot else, (some touches of dark fruit do emerge a bit later, and are pleasant but nondescript)
M: dry but not superbly so
O: I love this beer, I mean really love this beer, but every attempt to age it (this will be the second time I am having a 1 year bottle) has been disappointing. My first attempt (a 750 ml) tasted of steel (so I'll chock that one up to oxidation, no one's fault really I'm not mad) but on this bottle I'm not sure exactly where the blame lies. My tongue was burnt a little, but not so much that in my experience this should have been any less enjoyable than it would otherwise be, yet here we are. I've got a few more bottles at about this age that I'm (of course) not going to throw out, and I'm gonna take another crack at this one while trying to isolate any conditions not permissive to a completely fair and balanced review but as it stands now, drink it fresh or don't drink it at all would be my advice.

 1,820 characters

Photo of Chizoad
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first sampling of one of St. Bernardus' other offerings. Up to now it's been the Abt 12. To sum up the review before it starts, I'll stick with the Abt 12 given the paltry price difference between it and the Prior 8.

Very pretty pour with a fat creamy head with some odd flecks and sediment sticking to the top. Lacy as it settled to a 1/2 finger head. Opaque reddish-brown liquid with floating yeast that would make someone other than me suspicious.

Nose suggested some raisins and a little alcohol, but not hugely impressive.

Taste was initially pretty good, but not complex, maybe even a little less so than the smell. The alcohol in it burns off quickly, and is followed up by a pleasing bitterness that is not typical. Doesn't hang around too long either.

Highly effervescent on the tongue, and sorta sparkles on there. One of the highlights of the ale. Perhaps due to this, it's not too heavy.

Still, I don't find it attractive enough to want to down another one. In fact I probably won't get it again, although I'm glad I tried it on a whim.

 1,056 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a fluffy white head with some little speckles in it. Smells of dried fruit and malt, and tastes very mildly of figs, blackberries and some other assorted spices. Lots of little hints of flavors, but jsut not much overall quantity of flavor. I got bored before finishing the glass; just not that interesting overall.

 345 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 paco1029384756
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with 2 fingers of light tan head.

Scent of sugars, raisins, and some roasted malts. Pretty good scent, but nothing really stands out but the malts, it falls a little short.

Taste of candi sugar and malts, with some fruit coming in as it warms. Not overbearing, but still falling a bit flat.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but slightly watery.

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Photo of Damian
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Drank on-tap at Redbones, Somerville, MA

Poured a deep, ruby brown/black with a medium, pillowy, light tan head that faded to swirls of froth. Lots of beautiful, cascading lacing.

Aroma was hardly noticeable at first but became more apparent as the beer warmed. Yeasty, bready and woody with intense malts, brown sugar, ripe fruits and some alcohol.

Taste was similar yet more pronounced. Initially, sweet malts, dried fruits and a general oakiness were discernable, yet they were quickly overshadowed by the overwhelming alcohol punch. Finish was quite hoppy and dry for a dubbel.

Rich, heavy, creamy mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. The beer felt like a pillow on my tongue.

Overall, a good beer, but I wish the alcohol flavor could have been masked more effectively.

As a side note, I have tried this beer both on-tap and in a bottle and the bottled version seems to exhibit much richer and smoother flavors, as well as a reduced hop and alcohol profile.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another whim beer...

A: iced tea brown with a thick off white head that quickly fades. Good.

S: very faint hints of sweet bready malts. Not much else. Ok.

T: piney oak with a kind of metallic bitter backend. Kind of reminds me of autumn. Bready apples with some alcohol taste. Decent.

M: medium body with a great carbonation. Very good.

D: goes down very easy once you get past the metallic taste. Good.

All in all, this was an ok brew. Kind of overrated IMO. Good to try if u like belgians. I have not gotten in to them myself.

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Photo of iheartIPA
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky autumn brown. The 3-4 finger head disappears almost as fast as it arrived. There is a fair amount of dredge floating and settling to the bottom. No lacing to speak of. All in all, not the prettiest Dubbel I've seen.

I'm digging the aroma. It takes a couple of good swirls and some big inhalations, but it is pleasing. Caramel apples, cherries, fig. There is a "dryness" in the aroma, reminiscent of a red wine. A hint of booze.

The taste is surprisingly sour. Not overly sour; I just wasn't expecting it. I'm reminded of purple grapes picked too soon. The tartness is balanced fairly well with the aforementioned sweetness of the fruit and caramel. Unfortunately, this brew doesn't finish well for me. Dark fruit sweetness gives way to an unpleasant bitterness and dryness (not unlike a cheap Merlot) remains

Average mouthfeel. Slick at first (hop oils?). Seemed to get thinner with every sip.

I'm not crazy about this Dubbel. I wouldn't turn one down, but I don't imagine I'll be buying another in the near future.

 1,034 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber body. A good amount of yeasties floating around. Great big cream colored head that stuck around.

Smell: Alcohol hits the nose, though it's warm, not solventy. Lots of raisin aroma, some orange too. Nice smell, but pretty average.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Huge hit of malt! After the initial malt jolt, a nice balanced sweet taste lingers. Can't really taste the alcohol, it's well hidden. Very slight bitterness, just a tease, and it seems to work. Full bodied, though slightly overcarbonated for my taste. It's a nice taste, but a little too dominated by the sweetness.

 601 characters

Photo of Asgeirr
3.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: Hazy russet colour and a beige crown of decent stature. Leaves plenty of lacing alongside the glass.

S: Mainly sweet maltiness with a side order of yeastiness, as many a dubbels. Dark fruits as raisins, figs and some caramel alongside the dry smell of yeast.

T: Raisins, grape juice, caramel, nuts some yeast

M: Round, smooth and moderately carbonated.

O: Stable and solid, albeit a wee bit on the anonymous side. It doesn't really stand out.

 449 characters

Photo of mrmanning
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HYDE for hooking this up for me! Deep brown body, topped with a fluffy beige cloud. Molasses, prunes, spices, and malt all fill the nose. Sweet and spicy. Lots of huge and heavy malt flavours, accompanied with molasses, honey, brown sugar, and spices. Warming alcohol. Very smooth muothfeel. Thanks derek!

 319 characters

Photo of jifigz
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

This beer is a tad colder than it should be for the optimal enjoyment. I am going to attempt to drink it slow and allow it to warm a bit.

The beer pours a dark brown with a huge head that disappeared quickly. The head left no lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet with dried fruits like raisins and prunes. The initial flavor is very sweet like the fruit flavors. The middle rounds out a bit with a molasses like sweetness an the end is a somewhat spiced dryness. The alcohol is only mildly present in the taste.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin and watery and not quite what I was expecting. The carbonation level is also a bit high, which I feel is also the case with their Pater 6.

This is a nice beer but just like their Pater 6 is doesn't stack up at all to their ABT 12.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,412 ratings.
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