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St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,045 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:
1,045
Ratings:
2,373
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
12.77%
 
 
Wants:
150
Gots:
348
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,045 | Ratings: 2,373
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a murky dark red amber with a nice off-white head and lacing. Subdued light malt, dark and light fruit aroma. Light fruit, malt and Belgian spicing. Somewhat light flavor. Finishes nicely with sweet malt and light fruit. Mouth feel and carbonation are very nice. A great dubble, although the flavors are not as assertive as I'd expect. I'd still be happy to drink this any time.

 447 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is medium brown colored with a tannish head. The beer is hazy and you cannot see through it. The aroma is caramel and toffee with some molasses mixed in. I also get a little bit of dark fruit. The flavor is full of caramel, Belgian yeast, candy sugar and a little bit of grape/other dark fruit. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the beer is very easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. Bottle
Best By Date 03 02 10 ?

Poured into a tulip a nice slightly cloudy dark mahongy color, nice carbonation, nice two finger foamy off-white head, one big island and some smaller ones are left behind. The nose is of malts, yeast, grapes, figs, raisins, dates, and slight caramel. The taste is absolutely delicious, nice malty/yeasty/grapey flavor. Slightly dry finish. Medium body, a very complex brew. Very drinkable, a true to style brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of tone77
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a hazy, dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of bready malts, dark fruits, brown sugar. Taste is dark fruits, spices, malts, some alcohol. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a tasty and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl with some killer breakfast.

Prior 8 comes out like a true dubbel with a wet wood shaded brown and some shades of red in spots. A nice half inch of semi tan foam up top good retention, no lace though.

Smell is nuts, bready Belgian yeast/pumpernickle, spice. Taste is kinda muted, yeast up front with some big time nuts and a caramel backing, not cloying or overly sweet though.

Feel is medium, smooth and easy like most trappists beers, alcohol is not noted, carb is light, not refreshing but satisfying. I can drank a bunh more of this, why not...

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Decanted carefully into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass from a bomber.

Appears golden brown with a huge light khaki head and some lace. Excellent retention.

Taste starts out with some unripe black cherries with a decent level of acidity on the forefront, backed by a bready sweet robust malt body. Very slight roasted grain effect. Levels of apple sweetness, lush vegetal fruits. Liquid bread.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and smooth, well carbonated.

Drinkability moderate. Strong and a sipper for sure.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice garnet color when held up to the light, otherwise this is an amber beer topped by a tan head. A spicy musty aroma wafts from my goblet. There are undertones of fruit in the aroma as well. Definitely spicy tasting as well, finishes a bit hot. This beer definitely features what Belgian yeast can do. Lots of yeast character here. There is a subtle malty sweetness that helps to carry the complex yeast flavors and aromas. The spice notes from the yeast that I can differentiate are; ginger, pepper, bergamot, and cardamom. This beer is medium bodied, though, as many Belgian beers are, it is quite light for its alcohol content. This beer is very similar to the 6, just a little bit richer.

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

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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle, best before 4/24/2013, into a snifter,

A: Pours a murky brown with a light tan head that gushes a bit, the carbonation was foaming at the top of the bottle before I even had a chance to pour it, good head retention, the head is quite fizzy.

S: Distinct smell of prunes, dried dark fruit and black currants.

T: Taste is good, the flavours are not overpowering, they manage to be subtle and complex at the same time. Dark pumpkernickel bread with notes of rye are intertwined with dark fruit character - raisins for sure and prune. Hit of molasses at the end as well as a hint of winter spice. Sweet notes of cake batter in the aftertaste. All around good flavour, it is imperative to drink this at at least 50-55F.

M: Carbonation is very high, though it didn't explode in my mouth like other relatively young bottle conditioned beers can do. Give it a few good swirls before tasting, as you pick up some more notes from the nose, the mouthfeel will be much more drinkable. The overall lightness on the tongue completely hides the 8%.

D: This is a good abbey beer. It's not the most striking Dubbel in flavour I've ever had, but it is distinctly Belgian and it would make a great starting point for those just beginning to get into Belgium's wonderful and diverse brews. It's got something in there for everyone I think. One of the most drinkable high gravity brews I've ever had. Recommended.

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Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown brew with a pillowy tan head.

Smell is banana bread, pears, melon, and cucumber? A bit of tart tang. There is a little spice in this but it is rather subdued in scent.

Taste is semi dry and the first thing that hits you is banana, not strongly this is a milder Dubbel than most. Very mild mannered the flavor of cake is all ways present. Mild flavors of brown sugar and melon are present but this isn't a strongly flavored beer.

Mouthfeel is good and thick.

Drinkability is excellent. I expected more in the flavor department but this is a mild mannered easy drinker.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a wine goblet.

Appearance: deep, opaque brown with a relatively thin, light head. Attractive lacing.

Smell: slightly yeasty, quite biscuity, with a very subtle apple/pear aroma.

Taste: nutty, slightly fruity, quite sweet. It is very slightly bitter and there is a bit of a tart/bitter/astringent quality that hits the palate right at the end.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body; quite carbonated.

Drinkability: despite its sweetness and relatively high alcohol, I could probably quaff this stuff all night long.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The second beer in my St Bernardus evening, a brown 330ml bottle best before 5th Apr 2012, drank on 1st March 2008.

Poured into my Westmalle bowl glass it looks a lovely ruby red, deep and clean appearance. The beige head stayed for the whole experience, which I always like to see.

Plum pudding and christmas cake mix come to mind in the aroma, but it isn't strong and takes some finding. Burnt malts also in there somewhere.

The taste knocks spots off the 6.7% Pater 6 which is what I had prior to this (see how I did that?). This beer tastes like its aroma, plums, dried fruits (like found in a Christmas cake), malty, toasty and roasted.

Feels good, nicely balanced beer, the flavours stay and the beer is obviously well crafted.

As I stated earlier, I like a beer who's head stays throughout the drink, this beer has that trait. It is also a dam good tasting beer.

 874 characters

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this over at Max's the other day.

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and excellent lacing. The beer smells sweet and malty, but with some underlying Belgium spice. The nose is not super complex, but it does smell quite appealing. On the palate this beer is just delicious. There is milk chocolate and cherry, but also with a touch of licorise in the finish. The beer is just decadently rich and would be the ideal dessert beer after some mussels and frites. There is just a touch of bitterness as well, which helps keep it from coming across as tiring or cloying. The beer is medium bodied and is not the least bit heavy.

This beer is completely different from the St. B. 12, and I don't know if I don't like it better. Today I like it very much. Quite impressive.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark nut brown with very little head and little lacing. The smell could be a little more robust, but it has a nice winey aroma with a lot of rounded malt. The taste is classic Belgian. Dark and spicy with that tang od Belgian yeast and the sweetness and thickness coming from the malt. Bananas and cloves, and brown bread with some hops throughout. Very nice. Mouthfeel is very balanced - not too thick, not overcarbonated, just a nice medium body with some spritz and flavors to go around. Quite drinkable- no real sign of the 8% abv, and very refreshing with some interest in the flavors.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 25, 2013.

The pour is a gorgeous looking deep amber-brown with a long lasting, silky beige head and a slight haze. Some decent yeast sediment floating about which is something I really like to see.

The aroma opens up my senses in wonderment trying to define what is there. I get dark malts, dark fruit, yeast, grape, molasses, and Belgian candied sugars. It invites me to drink and enjoy.

The body is full and bold with modest astringency.

The taste is fabulous with an upfront dark malt sweetness, molasses, and a mild pepper note taking up the rear with a smooth, dryish finish.

One of the most gorgeous, aromatic, and tasty beers that I have ever had.

 719 characters

Photo of Derek
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good, but not nearly as good as their 6 or 12.

I wonder if they use the second runnings from the 12, like they use to when they contract-brewed the Westvleteren.

I feel that I have been spoiled by their other dark beers.

A: Dark ruby-brown, with a little off-white head. Some retention & lacing.

S: Not as much aroma as their other brews. Sweet caramel, figs and brown sugar.

T: Only slightly on the sweet side. Caramelized sugar, raisins, slightly spicy. As it warms up, the alcohol taste becomes quite assertive. I think it's more well-rounded when it's chilled.

M: Moderate body is a little syrupy, plenty of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

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

Pours a two finger, thick cream head that barely fades leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cherry nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, sweet bready finish, not cloying. $9.60 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 261 characters

Photo of corby112
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with a huge frothy beige head. Aroma of dark fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Very tasty beer with lots of malty chocolate, raisin, prune, plum, spice and alcohol. Nice soft carbonation up front with a sweet malty center and nice dry, spicy finish.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown body w/ two-finger head. A husky, thick bitter malt smell with a mix of grainy roasted/toasted malts with coffee and some sweet malts like caramel. A sweet, creamy, sugary malt taste as I pick up caramel, nuts, oat as well as some chocolate. There are some dark fruit/fig tastes for balance and it finishes slightly dry thanks to some roasted malts, but overall this a medium to heavy bodied beer that is sweet. I must add that I noticed some fruit notes on the backend with the dry malt feeling - could be some hop bitterness, although it had a slight grape tinge. This is a great dubbel from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark cranberry tea color with a huge, billowy, dirty beige head that was almost fully lasting. Visible carbonation was very soft, almost non-detect.

S: On the nose was a sweet cola aroma, toasted caramel, brown sugar and ripe fruit.

T: The initial flavor was malty and sweet with caramelized brown sugar, ripe fruit (plums). A noticeable spicy rum raisin alcohol presence along with a toasted nuttiness, and sweet caramelized maldiness defined this beer. On the finish was some spicy prunes, bread, and a warming alcohol fade.

M: light-medium, with a light creaminess while leaving a dry caramel lacing on the tongue after the swallow.

D: An incredibly sweet and smooth beer per style full of rich caramel, bread, ripe fruit that was superbly brewed to produce a great drinking beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! Poured a cloudy dark brown with a huge tannish head, plenty of carbonation on this brew. Nose is sugar, candied fruits, caramel, dried dark fruits, roastiness and all of this is in the taste too. This was an exceptional Dubbel. Very smooth and rich, easy drinking and probably one of the best Dubbels I have had, ever.

 323 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BB 24/04/13, served lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a lightly murky, dark russet brown hue, coming with a well-lasting thin layer of dark beige frothy head and pretty moderate carbonation as far as my eyes could manage to detect.
S: lovely mildly-aromatic with a metallic twist, backed by plentiful dark malts with dark chocolatey and toasted nutty hints; the estery aroma reveals itself in a rather smooth manner, giving notes of Chinese red-bean paste (but only just), sweet licorice and black sugar, while alc. is certainly very settled and well-hidden. Not demanding or very complex for an 8%abv. Dark Ale, but the integrity is easily detected on the nose.
T: a sweet tinge of black herbal syrup and sour-sweet dark fruity malts come with a soothing texture of salty-sweet estery Chinese red-bean paste - pretty aromatic and soft on the palate... the weight of the dark malts is such that the hop bitterness and mildly floral estery flavour are literally "delayed" to develop at the back of the palate, where a light herbal undertone of licorice+aniseed+sunflower-seed, black-sugar-flavoured toffee, and a sour-sweet edge of caramelised prunes manage to linger. Slightly chewy and dry-ish bitter in the very end.
M&D: rather refreshing with a decent, moderate body and light fizziness, this big brother of "Pater 6" shows a deeper profile of dark malts yet overall lacks a level of complexity that is supposed to be built upon the junior one's virtuosity. That said, I find this an utterly drinkable sample of Dubbel, for its elegant integrity on the flavour and a total absence of alc. feel.

 1,627 characters

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 akorsak
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 330 mL bottle served in a Troegenator seidel. The ale is cold but warming.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color, hazy with a full head and lace.

S: Smell is full of strong alefruits and strong heady yeast. Very deep and complex.

T: The beer is deep and full of flavors. Some chocolate notes highlight the beer, along with sweet applebutter, dates and figs.

M: The ale is of the knock-your-socks-off variety. The flavors are so powerful in the mouth that you'd easily confuse this for some of the more well-known Trappist varieties.

D: 8% is tough, but the beer is top notch.

 600 characters

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,373 ratings.
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