St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,428 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,428 |  Reviews: 1,061
Photo of dizknee24
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork and Caged of course

A - Medium reddish and very cloudy and almost a nonexistent head retention. very carbonated.

S - Nothing special Could not pick out anything specific. very bland IMO

T- Taste was nothing spectacular as well. Maybe a bit fruity but i got a bit of resiny which i wouldn't normal expect from a beer of this style(dubbel)

M - thick. bubbly.

D - umm not really seeing the big draw to this one. Its good but its nothing special. It does not compare to ABT 12 or really anything i have had from them. Maybe i just dont like dubbels are much as tripels and quads? idk but not the best and not the worst. Right in the middle.

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Photo of KajII
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a murky medium brown with an average sized (1-2 Finger) fizzy white head that was mostly diminishing and had fair lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted cookie malt, light herbal hops and a moldy yeast with notes of dark fruit (prunes and raisons) and caramel.

It tasted bitter-sweet and a tad sour with a hint of caramel at first and finished about the same but with a strong note of dried fruit towards the end. The flavor lasted an average time proceeding the swallow and had a nice fruity aftertaste that lingered a bit longer.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and oily in texture with a lively carbonation.

Overall a superb tasting Abbey Ale with a great drinkability, which did a great job of hiding the high ABV...

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque super dark brown color with a 1 inch tan head that fades to a small cap. Very spotting lacing on the glass. Floating particles are present in the beer as well. Smell is of dark ripe fruits, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel malt. Tastes like it smells with sweet caramel malt, brown sugar sweetness, ripe dark fruits like raisins or plums. Somewhat of a high level of carbonation. Good drinkability but I was expecting more from this beer.

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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.

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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 xodin
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep oak brown brew with a slight reddish hue. Considerable head standing firm after the pour. Sediment evident throughout, which is typical of the style. Not much in the way of aroma, but what is there has a biscuit and caramel tinge. Moderately full bodied flavor, with caramel, molasses, some fruits such as apricot and pear. Very well balanced, smooth through the swallow and finishing slightly dry. No rough edges. Mouthfeel is equal to or slightly better than the 12, but has a letter less complex character. May vary based on batch, storage, and age characteristics. Another great brew from St. Bernardus.

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

A bottle poured into a duvel tulip.

A- a good two fingers of tan head from a stiff pour that slowly recedes leaving a small amount of lace and a white skin on top. Slightly muddy chestnut brown in color.

S- dates and raisins with some fruity yeast and a caramel brown sugar sweetness. Slightly bready.

T- fruity and well spiced up front like a fruit cake with some good fall feel to it. There's some apple skin and a bit of must going on in the back.

M- about medium in body with a creeper carb that give a very light finish.

D- a great dubble to say the least and surely one of the bench marks for the style.

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Photo of atigerlife
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for quite a while, but decided to bust it out for to push me over the top to "aficionado" status.

Pours a dark brown, cloudy, with a 1 finger creamy light brown head. Good retention and lacing. Nice start.

Aroma is dark fruits [rum/raisin, plums] and malt.

Taste is malts. Also some nice dark fruits, sweet, nuts and mild alcohol twang at the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly cleansing and creamy.

Overall, a wonderful and very drinkable brew. Quite tasty.. Very enjoyable.

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

Poured from a 75cl bottle into a tulip.

A - Big pillowy head (which subsides quickly) and a dark-chocolatey colour. Few carbonation bubbles as well.

S - Sweet sugar/caramel aromas dominate. Also some bread and wild berry aromas blending with some darker stuff - there's a good strong spirit smell; almost rum-like.

T - Mild sugary malt flavour at first. There's a definitely a dark-liqueur flavour here; again quite rum-like. Plenty of dark berry flavours here as well.

M - Quite sugary-sweet. Malt covers the mouth but fades very quickly. High carbonation gives a slightly rough or even violent (?!) aftertaste.

D - Goes down smoothly so can be drank with ease.

Nice dubbel. Little bit too sugary - seems like the high sugar levels here almost stop the other flavours coming through. You could probably compare this to cola... if you wanted to go to hell!

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

Appearance: A thoroughly hazy brown body with lots of chunky sediment at the bottom of the glass. Up top, about a finger of bubbly cream-colored head that fades slowly and leaves brilliant lacing.

Aroma: Dark fruit, golden fruit, subtle yeast, cloves, and a dusting of cinnamon over a roasty malt body.

Flavor: Lots of dark, golden, and vinous fruit, clove, pepper, and rich yeast over a bready and brown-sugary malt backbone. The alcohol is masked excellently, contributing just a little spice once it's warmed. Everything is balanced well and there is plenty of depth to explore here. Dark fruit, a hint of herbal hops, and bready malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with medium carbonation and a neutral finish. Just a little slickness from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Easily quaffable, which is impressive given the moderately-high alcohol content.

Verdict: Prior 8 is simply the best Dubbel I've had the pleasure of trying yet. It ticks all of the boxes: it confirms to style, it's criminally drinkable, and it's tasty as hell from the first sip through to the dregs.

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

Goblet on tap at Blue Monk in Buffalo. Arrives a mid-range chestnut brown with a thin head on top.

Really a classic, well made beer. First thing to strike you is the creaminess, really smooth and mellow in the mouth, low carbonation which fits perfectly. Dark fruits, figs, raisins with a pleasant bready malt and a touch of caramel and cocoa, hint of cloves. Somehow both drinkable and sumptuous.

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Photo of jsh420
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best by 07.29.15

pours cloudy amber brown with a 2 finger head that faded fast an left no lacing

smell has lots of banana with lightly toasted malt spice from the yeast

taste - still get some banana with kicks of booze but i pick up more dark fruit and caramel malt - plenty of spice from the yeast - not very sugary sweet which i like - nice and dry

mouthfeel is light/medium with tons of carbonation whcih is very fitting for this style

drinkability - i had this after a chimay red tonight and this was the hands down winner no contest

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Photo of donteatpoop
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a nice cap opf cream colored head.

The smell was wildflowers and wild grain. Wonderfully enviting aroma.

Mouth is caramel and fruit, a mild ligering alcohol burn in it's aftermath.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel.

Good Dubbel. Don't know much about the style so I don't have much to base it on yet, but I like it.

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Photo of JLeege
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle ~ poured into the St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance- Pours a deep amber color with a dense off white head. Decent retention, some lacing. Similar to the 6, but darker.

Smell- Caramel malt and dark fruits. Some cherry. Some spicing and a slight yeasty pressance.

Taste- Caramel malt and brown sugar leading into some dark fruits. Again cherry shows up, along with raison. Light belgian spicing and yeast, picking up some honey as well. Less cola like than the 6. The finish is not quite as dry as the 6, more of a lingering sweetness of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, very full body. Coats the tongue, mouth, and everything else. ABVs are noticed on this one, towards the finish, but it is not "hot" or unpleasant.

Overall- Basically to me, drank back to back, it tastes like a slightly stronger and more complex version of the 6. This has slightly better flavor profile, but not quite as drinkable, with a more full feel and higher ABVs.

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Photo of BeerNemesis
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

St. Bernardus Prior 8 | 330 ml. | 8.0% ABV | vintage

Brewer: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Style: Dubbel
Glass: Ommegang chalice

Active foam and a burnt umber hue make a good impression.

Some dark fruit, caramel, cream soda, and spritz. It's above average, but just barely.

Fairly rigid malt base, light drizzling of caramel, bread crust grain, and a balanced phenolic tinge.

The carbonation is active, stinging the taste buds into action. It's quite fresh, refreshing, but not light.

A well orchestrated dubbel, but it suffers from a lack of complexity.

Would I get it again?:
No, I rarely get dubbels anymore, but this one's a staple of the style.

Bottled: ?
Served: January 24, 2011

Price = $4.99 at Whole Foods

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish brown color with an alarming amount of bits suspended in it. This beer looks like the first runoff of a brew kettle before any vorlauf. The head is a tan white, quick to rise and just as fast to fade to a thin sheet of suds. After the Pater 6 i am slightly disappointed with this one.

Nose continues the disappointment with a just slightly above average scent. It is heavy on the caramel and candied side of things. It smells over sweet and a touch boozy with mild toasted grains.

Taste is better then the nose but only slightly. The caramel and candied flavors are there and really aren't bad, the problem i have is the lack of complexity. Once you get past the slight grain and sugar toasted sweetness there isn't much else. It tastes good but a little simple. Frankly I expected a little more.

Mouthfeel is nice with a firm carbonation and a smooth coating feeling. It's almost chewy with a warm finish that stays in your mouth for some time after. This isn't a bad beer but a solid average one. Simple and well made but not much for big flavors and complexity. Worth a try but probably not one I'd come back to. I find the 6 to be much more satisfying.

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Photo of aepb1
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Darker than the pater 6, good lacing from the light brown head

S- Buttery, dark fruits, cloves and other spices, some alcohol too

T- Dark malts, a little bitter presence in there, finishes sweet and a bit of alcohol warming. There's a nice spice presence throughout

M- Smooth, medium-bodied and a good level of carbonation

D- Again, solid beer as its brothers.

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Photo of bum732
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Clove and spice up front, some malty sweetness, sugary and phenols, much higher than prior 6.

L: murky brownish red with light tan head that dissipates.

T: Semi-sweet caramel malt with clove-like spiciness. Low bitterness with some spiciness and cinnamon like dryness.

M: Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Solid Dubbel, i preferred the prior 6 more as i thought it was a touch dryer and even a bit more complex. Still a solid beer.

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

Bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Luscious french vanilla head atop a hazy, port-like body. The pillowy head slowly pops away, leaving sticky sweet lacing. As pretty as it gets.

S: Saccharine, molasses notes, with some alcohol and plenty of yeasty Belgian goodness. Certainly some grape or muscat. Defines the style, for me.

T: Every so slightly thin, this looks and drinks like a port or even brandy--certainly residual maltose, but not overbearing, backed up with brown bread and honey notes. No hops getting in the way here at all.

M: The body's just a bit flat, but it has good solid chew, a good pondering beer. The carbonation suits the alcohol content.

D: Less boozy than the 12 means this goes down extremely easy. It's not as complex, but still a beautiful example of the Dubbel.

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Photo of gameface23
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is somewhat biased based on the fact that I generally don't like Dubbels. I am reviewing to style, though.

A: Murky brown with the slightest red tinge when held up to a light. The head is on the smaller side, but it is long lasting.

S: Rich aroma, but it doesn't overpower. There is an alcohol warming, Belgian yeast phenols, cloves, earthy, musty prunes and tart grapes.

T: A little more to it than the smell. Dark fruits, brown sugar/molasses, clove spiciness.

M: Light bodied. The finish is cut nicely by the scrubbing power of carbonation.

D: A very nice offering from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of wrb357
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is similar to the Pater 6, but it seems a little boozier. Looks a dark red/brown color, with a nice fuzzy head. Smells boozy and cherry/fig notes. And not gonna lie, tastes like an alcoholic Dr. Pepper, which to me is a GREAT thing. Tastes carbonated, and has more of a booze taste than the Pater 6, but also seems a bit fuller and heavier. Cherry, figs, malts. Very nice Dubbel. Also feels more carbonated than the Pater 6, which gives it more of a full-bodied taste. It's less drinkable than the Pater 6, in that its not as sweet or light, but since this seems more like a beer and less like dessert wine, I feel it works better during the meal than after.

I think I like the Pater 6 better, but this is a great one too.

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Photo of mklinger
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. 1/2 inch of creamy tan head over a deep brown liquid with reddish highlights. Good looking beer.

Aroma is slightly sweet & spicy with a bit of tobacco about it. Slight alcohol aroma. Fine, but not the most inviting Belgian aroma I've seen.

However, the taste was more impressive. Sweet and spicy and very clean. No dank tobacco character in the taste. Quite malty and candy sweet. Just a hint of Belgian spices, too. Very pleasant beer.

Quite full mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation. Very nice dubbel -- more or less hits the prototype of what a dubbel should be in all ways (except maybe aroma). Very nice beer.

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Photo of gfreed
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What could be better (besides a stiff Scotch ale) on a snowy evening than splitting a big bottle of a good dubbel with one's spouse? As comfort beers go, the Prior 8 is among my favorites. It warms but does not overheat; it doesn't overwhelm with yeast and sugar; it goes well with anything, including sushi and Indian food. And it's affordable. A fine winter treat.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice dark ruby red colour, almost opaque, two fingers of light fluffy off-white head, settling to massive mountains head and leaving thick chunky lacing.

S - Musty fruits (plums, bananas and grapes), touch of molasses and spices (cloves and nutmeg). ABV sweetness is also detectable.

T - Sweet caramel and fruit (almost a bit of grape juice flavours coming through), with cloves also prominent. ABV is decently hidden, but not offensive. Definitely a complex flavour.

M - Comes through as a tad thin, lighter bodied ale, but goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet on the palette.

D - Overall a tasty offering from St. Bernardus and worthy to any fan of Belgians. ABV is not overpowering making it pretty drinkable. A great bottle to share with friends.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/28/2010:

330 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: It pours a cloudy dark brown color with a finger of foam that dissipates into three islands of thin, frothy film. It does not lace particularly well.

S: Caramel, light roasty nuttiness, earthiness, and mild dark fruits come to mind.

T: Caramely and wheaty malt character combined with hazelnut, light banana, and bubble gum; if the Pater 6 is the traditional Dubbel, this is the Americanized one.

M: It has a medium-thick body with some creaminess and palate-sticking flavors.

D: This would be a near perfect dubbel with higher carbonation and lacing.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,428 ratings.
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