St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8
2,443 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,443 |  Reviews: 1,063
Photo of FanofHefe
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 fl oz. bottle, best by 07 09 15, poured into a Chimay chalice. Deep, murky brown body with a big, fluffy, two-finger tan head. The head settles into a nice creamy cap and leaves some nice lacing along the glass.

The aroma is surprisingly understated, even as it warms. Just a bit of dark fruit and some bready malt notes.

Thankfully, the flavor steps it up a notch. Tasty blend of dark fruit, sweet malt, spicy yeast notes, plum, apricot, and just a hint of walnut. Complex and tasty.

Medium and smooth in the mouthfeel. High level of carbonation that works well. Excellent brew.

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Photo of Mosley1212
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from my notes. Poured from the bottle into my DFH Signature glass.

A—Ruby red with a touch of brown. Fluffy white head that dissipated quickly. Reminds me of the color of raisins.

S—Raisins, plums, dates, other dark fruits. Quite a bit of alcoholic burn in the nose also.

T—Warm raisin bread. Plums, dates, yeast, has a bit of a stinging alcohol taste.

M—Light bodied, heavy carbonation. Tastes fizzy like an Alka-Seltzer.

O—This is a solid brew from St. Bernardus, but I’m not overly impressed with this one.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice. (Best by 10/7/15)

A: Pours dark brown with nearly two fingers of light-brown head, lots of foamy action.

S: Tart apples, rich sweet bread, lots of musty yeast, alcohol

T: Packs a bit of a punch on the front ends, lots of must, tart dark fruits, tons of yeast esters. The intensity settles to a fairly long middle with a nice brown bread base with a solid layer of candy sugar and delicate dark fruits (plums and figs mainly). Finishes with a little sweetness and a slight resurgence of the dark fruit intensity. Finish is vinous, with qualities of both a red wine and brandy. I get just a little alcohol in the beginning and none on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, extremely smooth and creamy. Silky smooth, goes down very easily, very pleasant finish with virtually no aftertaste.

O: A great Belgian dark ale. The complexity and nuance is there, huge toasted malts, great yeast esters.

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Photo of jpro
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle from a St. Bernardus mixed 4-pack. Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice...

A: Pours a rich, toffee amber with a dense, 3-finger, light khaki head that dies down to about a half-finger of creamy retention; looks great.

S: Figgy caramel malt sweetness; very bready; light notes of Belgian yeast spice / clove; a nice, rich aroma.

T: Molasses malt with some light notes of sugary glaze; dark fruit syrup and dark breads; some alcohol on the finish; bitterness on the finish provides some balance.

M: Full-bodied and creamy; moderate carbonation.

O: A great dubbel... rich and very enjoyable; something to take your time with and enjoy.

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

11.2 oz bottle, the date says 070915.

Appearance: Looks brownish as it sits, but held to the light is a nearly clear (and clearing more as it warms) ruby color. The head is of course about as good as it gets-- tightly bubbled and neverending. Leaves sticky lacing.

Smell: Thank you to the St. B yeast which as always leaves a fantastic yeasty bready aroma beind as well as a little spicy clove. Raisins and cherries. Rich, complex, and malty sweet.

Taste: Lots of nice spice and some clove up front with the sweet maltiness. Again, dried dark fruits and huge bready yeast flavor. There's a slight tartness in the middle which is nice. Long finish.

Mouthfeel: This is a big feeling dubbel. Soft and slightly sticky. Love the ample carbonation-- gives a slight foaminess.

Drinkability: Its a great dubbel. One of the best.

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

Been a while since I had a new Belgian. This was from St Bernardus so I was hopeful when I bought it and it was not their best but it did not disappoint. Prior 8 is somewhat darker than ABT 12 but has the same outstanding characteristics of the top tier Belgians. The appearance was dark with a good head. Smell was underwhelming but fruity. Mouthfeel was pleasant with the right amount of carbonation. Taste with sweet overtones and not overwhelming yeast and some mild bitter.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a celebration bottle of the birth of my first child. I hope that I don't over-valuate the beer out of happiness.

Bernardus is a very good example of a Belgian Dubbel.

I love the smell of the Belgian yeast coming off the pour. On opening the beer, I get a lot of head. The glass shows a lot head for half a minuted and it disappears quickly.

The flavors of this classic belgian are good. The taste is classic with very little surprises.

The mouthfeel is smooth, and there is very little aftertaste. I enjoy the feeling of the residual beer in my mouth after the pour.

I like this beer, and recommend it as a good example of a Belgian from a hard working group of friars.

And here's to my daughter: Michelle Rachel. May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

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Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy medium brown color with a 2 + finger light tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma is very nice, and has apples, dark fruit, candy sugar, spices, and caramel.

The taste is just like the aroma. Sweet and phenolic with dark fruit, apples, candy sugar, spices and caramel. There is a slight peppery taste which helps balance out the sweetness.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. No real taste of alcohol. Finishes a little dry. I could drink this again easily.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lively bubbles of carbonation dance from the bottom of the walnut brown body to join the generous tan head that hangs around for the duration of the beer and coats the sides of the glass with a sticky lacing residue.

The aroma consists of dark fruit such as plums, yeast, sweet malts, and hints of peppery spices.

The flavor is highlighted by malty sweetness and yeast followed by the same dark fruits and peppery spices offered in the aroma.

The mouthfeel offers a medium body with moderate carbonation and a pleasant warming feeling at the finish.

Another great beer from St. Bernardus with plenty of authentic character for the senses.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown cloudy body with a standard dubbel head. Beige and foamy, hanging around.

S - Sweet alcohol and some acidic fruit notes. Green apple and some grain.

T - Caremel and faint cocoa powder. A little alcohol warmth floating by. Some nice apple flavors and after taste.

M - Foaming mouthfeel. Medium body with some dryness and a tickling carbonation.

O - A nice choice but maybe lacking some bigger flavors. Nice and smooth but a milder dubbel.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

It's a dark brown color with a bubbly white head. Great looking beer.

It smells of plums and raisins and a little chocolate too.

The taste is very similar to the aroma. I like the chocolate flavor on the aftertaste.

Very drinkable, super smooth and delicious.

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Photo of Buggies
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of yeast and fruit. There is a fruit aroma that stands out. I would describe it as being grape. Also, a lightly bready aroma in the background too.

All I can say is that this one tastes as great as it smells. Ever so slight sweetness from the malt. Fruity... and sort of a spiciness from the yeast. Carbonation is dead nuts on I think. Any more or less and something would of been taken away from this one. Just a hint of bitter hops in the finish as well.

I love the style. And this is simply a good example of it. If this was more widely distributed in my area, it would probably be in heavy rotation in the beer refrigerator.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured in the St. Bernardus goblet.

Pours a rich dark brown, almost the color of prune juice. A beautiful head graces the top and a thin lace lazily works its way down the glass.

The nose is full and rich with aromas of Belgian yeasts, bread, baking spices, plums, and hints of pear.

The taste is lovely and continues to evolve the longer it sits. Very bready, it is rich and complex without being too bold. It balances flavors of cloves, plums, and roasted malts. The finish - though a tad short - is excellent and fills your mouth with a nice roasted malt flavor.

This is an excellent beer, well done and well made. Though lighter in the alcohol, it tastes almost like a quadruple. It's a perfect beer to have if you want the fullness of a quad without the higher alcohol levels that accompany it.

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Photo of stephens101
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with ruby red edges and a dense and rolling tan head that has staying power. Malts and dark fruit to the nose with a slightly metallic edge. Tastes of plums, cherries, brown sugar, taffy, cinnamon and a slight bitterness at the very end. Everything is very well blended with no intrusions. Smooth with a subtle graininess going down and a little syrupy on the lips after a bit. Good brew from a great brewery.

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Photo of veinless
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown with hints of maroon and a slight tinge of purple. Head is two fingers, creamy white, and leaves a distinct ring of lace on top, then not much afterward.

Nose is of ripe banana, figs and berries. Coriander and clove are evident, and the smell is overall more sweet than spicy (not hot, but spice spicy). Some dark malts and booze lingers in the background.

First taste is of intensely spiced sweet fruit. The belgian yeast spiciness is almost overpowering at first. After a couple more sips it gets toned down a little bit, but combined with the bitterness that follows, the start is bordering on unpleasant. Fruits in the taste are pretty much all dark, fleshy fruits like plums and figs, with banana and berries taking a backseat. Booze is strong in the back and provides plenty of warmth. I like it, but I'd prefer it a bit weaker here. Warmth is good, but not to the point where the booze is yucky tasting.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with some chalkiness at times and a finish that is awkwardly watery, chalky and slightly bitter at the same time. Drinkability is shoddier than expected, as the yeast is just way too strong at the start and the finish, as just mentioned, is weird. Abv is not utilized in the best way possible (this doesn't mean it has to be hidden, it just means the strength is too much for this beer). After having Abt 12 and Tripel from these guys I expected a lot more, but I guess everything is not going to be to my taste.

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Photo of dizknee24
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
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 -3.8%
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 -3.8%
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 -13.9%
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 -6.7%
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 +1.7%
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 -1.4%
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 +5.3%
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 -1%
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 +5.8%
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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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,443 ratings
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