Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Prior 8Prior 8
2,505 Ratings
Prior 8Prior 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: 2,505 |  Reviews: 1,084
Photo of CBFanWish
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a caramel colour with a super huge frothy head. Way too much carbonation. Yeasties floating around. Just hanging out. Drinking this particular beer is a lot like biting into a chunk of bread. There isn't much else to say about it. It's just not my thing. That's okay, though. I'm aging one. we'll see how it does with 10 years on it.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rusty golden with a small head (1/2 inch)... big bubbles that dissipate quickly and leaves very little film that slides down the sides of my goblet and disappear.

Color is a dark reddish brown mahogany. Smells of ... wood stain...? A peppery burnt fig and oak smell. Also hints of raisins, cinnamon and apricot.

The taste is complex and took me a while to separate each flavor for my notes. I had to let it warm a little before the flavor really came through. It is both sweet and chewy with a fruity acidic flavor of bananas and cloves and a smoky plum (hoisin??) salty afterbite. A delicate brew that would warm me up on a cold Colorado fall night... Good Stuff.

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

Pours cloudy brown in color with a huge light brown head that sticks to the sides of my glass. Fruity sweet and spicy aromas, sugary plum and raisin flavors, medium bodied with a crisp almost soda like mouthfeel, finishes with a brown sugar sweetness.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle with a smiling belgian monk on the front. Aroma was strong in alcohol and fruity esters. For some reason there were dark flakes on top od the head which was very thick and refused to die down. This ale poured a dark murky brown which swallowed any light which tried to pass through. The taste was remarkable in that it was rich in dark sweet malt flavors and some dark fruit flavors as well. The mouthfeel has that Belgian qualitiy in that it is effervescent but not rough on the tongue. The carbonation seems like champagne but the body of the ale lets you know malt is involved.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jul 9th, 2004: Pours a lightly cloudy brown color with a light tan head. Thin lacing. The aroma is an interesting concoction of malt, raisin and caramel. Medium-bodied with a great Belgian feel from the get-go. Flavors of spice (cinnamon and coriander), yeast, warming alcohol and caramel. The finish is nicely complex with lots of spice and malt. I am a fan of the 12 and this beer is no slouch either.

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Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Served in chalice.

Appearance: Reddish brown color. Very active carbonation. Tall rocky tan head with brilliant full lacing. Excellent head retention. Beautiful!

Smell: Bread, fruity, solvent. I can't wait for what's in store!

Taste: Sweet, fruity. Plums, spicy. Molasses. Dark malts, light on the hops. Superbly balanced!

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth finish.

Drinkability/Overall: I could drink this exceptional brew all day without a complaint. I think i'm in love!

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Photo of woemad
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $4.16.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, with a large, off-white head. Lots of lace sheets dripping down the sides of the glass.

Smell is very complex: Fruity, sweet, bitter, all seemingly in equal measure.

Taste is as rich and complex as the aroma. Sweet, caramel flavors vie with bitter chocolate and fruity bananna bread, wrapped in a spicy cloak.

Mouthfeel is creamy, and moderately full-bodied (if that makes any sense), without seeming too big.

This is very drinkable. A very tasty dubbel. It goes down easily enough that one forgets the high abv. For that reason, it would probably not be a great session beer. It makes a great dessert beer, however.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The quality of the beer is immediately apparent in the reddish brown insanely carbonated body, and the towering tan head. The aroma is complex, with chocolate, honey, and musk on the nose. The taste has a warm and spicy alcohol bite, with a banana nut bread taste, and some dusty yeast lurking in the back. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit on the light side. This is technically a Dubbel, but comes in Tripel strength of 8% ABV. A welcome newcomer to Georgia shelves.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a beautiful dark brown with a thick frothy head on top. Smell is typically tasty Belgian: plenty of malts, some raisins, even a hint of yeast.

The malt from the scent is there in spades in the flavour as well as a nice, soft chocolatey effect, some sugary sweetness, and a tang of bitter along with a noitceable alcohol warming at the very end.

Mouthfeel is good, the right consistency for a Belgian, medium - thick with some carbonation while the drinkability is also good, as expected.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a quite opaque brown beer with a great head with good retention. Aroma is bit weaker then expected with some roasted malts and some light plums. Taste is also a mix between roasted malts, a bit of candi sugar and some light plums. Overall, this is a good beer lacking a bit of complexity and overshadowed by better products from this brewery.

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the initial skunky whiff of fish out of the bottle, I was somewhat disapointed. I appreciate the sample from Malto on my wish list. Complex carbonated taste includes orange and other fruit and yeastiness. Dark reddish colour.

Another bottle 2.5 years later and spicy herbalness at room temperature, no fishy smell.

5 years later, and licorice and molasses.

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Photo of taez555
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a huge tan head with a matte black/dark brown body.

The nose was a mix of yeast, alcohol, dark malt, raisins, soft chocolate and earth.

The taste was a good deal along the same lines. Medium bodied and very smooth. A very light carbonation with a matured taste. An overall sugary sweetness, with some brown sugar, slight roasted malt, wheat, yeast, chocolate, soft mellowed dark malt, phenols, and even some soft juice flavors. There’s a light bitterness with a soft subtle earth taste. It ends smooth with a soft bitterness.

A very simple and tasty belgian dubbel. Maybe not as complex as some of the more in your face versions, but very drinkable and extremely tasty.

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

Sampled in a red wine glass 5/04

This beer pours a cloudy brown color. The head cannot be coaxed and quickly fades to spotty lace over the beer.

Aroma is intensely chocolatey with a wine like smell.

The initial taste is smooth and intensely malty with dark fruit and sugar. It comes to a dry finish.

Full bodied. High alcohol is noticeable

Every Dubbel makes me like the style more and more.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visually the Prior 8 is very cola-like, but extremely agitated with very fine carbonation. It forms a tall ivory colored head with impressive retention. It has a highly freaky aroma. How shall we describe this smell? Is it like leather or a woman’s auburn hair? Or streetlight on cobblestone or a shoe full of raisins? Is it wet peat moss or the smell of a hunting knife or crushed eggshell? Actually, the eggshell association makes me think of limestone. Could it be that this brew has an alkaline balance? Don’t know. Don’t care, actually.

The taste is fabulously complex. It is a canvass of impressionistic brushstrokes alluding to cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, and twisted licorice. An electronic circus of inspired spice as seen through a window in wall-to-wall lace.

That settles it. I’m getting a brown robe and a dumb haircut.

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

750ml bottle, which uncorked with great enthusiasm on untwisting the wire cage, with utterly no assistance, spilling ale everywhere..
Dark mahogany brown color, full, fervent foam, a bit beigey in color, slowly simmering down.

Aroma, spice, nuts, fruit, faint cocoa, more spice, cinnamon, clove, very carbonated, very enticing, uplifting, arousing, even...a lovely snootful, me likey.

Very lively, zesty taste, the mouth swims with this pruney, raisiny, vibrant flavor...I'm liking it more as it nestles in the crevices of my tastebuds.
Bursts afresh on the tongue again and again. Full-bodied, long, warm, lovely finish.

Goodness aplenty in this bottle. A keeper if ever there was.

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

Pours a walnut brown with a medium sized dense creamy beige head.
Smells of sweet malt, red berries, banana and spice. Almost a bubblegum aroma. Lemony yeast presence at the end.
Tastes of bready malt, overripe fruit and baking spices. Finishes with a brown sugar sweetness, tangy yeast, a bit of hops and a brandy nuance. Had an earthy aftertaste.
Full bodied with a rich, creamy mouthfeel and tongue tingling carbonation.
Quite the rich complex offering. Almost a bit cloying and definitly a belly warmer. Good dessert beer.

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Photo of Trentonator
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge head which sticks around and will not be denied. Sipping the beer with a moustache will leave some foam on the 'ole "flavor saver" for later. Particles of brownish specks in the head, rather unusual. Delicate and sticky lacing, the color of the beer is a dark red, almost mahogany. Smell is surprisingly light with no real "waves" of florals or fruits like other Belgians I have tried. What it lacks in smell it more than makes up for in taste. This beer is world class in the taste department. Fig, maybe some light butterscotch, I also get some otherworldy flavors I am not sure I can even describe with words. Truly amazing.

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Photo of far333
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy cocoa brown colored, thick looking, with particles suspending and moving. A foamy one-inch beige head rises up and lingers. There is no aroma, but for a bit of yeasty notes. Flavor is initially sweet and figgy, with some cocoa. A bit of clove and light brown sugar, but not too complex. Mouthfeel is a bit tingly. Better as it warms, but I've had better Belgians.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew blew me away.. Brown/ruby color in the goblet. Huge beige head. Nutty (hazelnut) orange peel smell. Persistant 1 inch head. Smooth clove, nutty , cinnamon, chocolate taste. Very smooth fuller mouth. This is the beer to drink while sitting by the fire on a cool night with your dog by your side. Soo rich, smooth, and comforting. What a Dubbel should be... excellent!

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Photo of Darkale
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite Belgian beer.

Light brown and turbulent body, light tan head, fabulous lacing that glistens all over the glass. Very yeasty aroma, spicy and slightly sour, like rye. Rich and foamy in the mouth, chewy, with a deep caramel taste -- almost glossy candy taste with burning hops throughout.

Incredible mix of raspy and gritty hops and a million-dollar-violin deep shiny sweetness. Stupendous.

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Photo of pheurton
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

murky dark brown in color with suspended chunks. enormous off white/tan head that recedes to an ever-present 1/8" foam. spectacular lacing. huge sweet malt aroma, i'm thinking figs and other assorted dark fruits. silky smooth in the mouth while maintaining a very lively carbonation....just amazing. big sweet malt flavor, full of dark fruit and brown sugar flavors with bready undertones. alcohol is slightly detectable. light on the hops, but a phenolic spiciness finsihes things off well. quite strong, the sweetness keeps it from being much of a session brew. still, a sheer pleasure to enjoy, extremely well crafted with more character than most. highly recommended.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown color with a thin off white head that looks like a smooth layer of icing on a cake. Lacing developed through the drink. The aroma was of malt and yeast. The flavors was of malt, yeast, spice,caramel, and raisins. Not overly complex, but a nice variety of flavors that are well balanced.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp finish. Medium bodied. The malt lingers on the tongue after swallowing. Extremely drinkable as this is so flavorful as a dubbel and the alcohol is barely noticeable.

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Photo of jed
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Brown, 33 cl bottle with an orange label featuring the St. Bernadus smiling monk. 1, 3, 5, and 6 notched on the numbers at the bottom of the label. "Best consumed before the end of 2005" written in French and German. Poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a fairly uniform dark brown color. One finger head is light tan with good retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind a very thick trail of lace that clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Much less pronounced fruit aromas compared to the Abt. 12. Still some dark fruit — figs, raisins, and currants — along with a caramel sweetness. Some kind of buttery alcohol aroma which is hard to place.

Taste: Nose is malt and sweet, buttery cocoa flavor balanced with a little bit of dark fruit. Very slight clove notes, but not the same spicy, peppery flavor I associate with the style. Nose fades to a bready, grainy flavor, although there's still almost no hop presence. The finish is warm, thanks to the alcohol, with a very sweet aftertaste of prunes, raisins, and more cocoa/carob. As the beer warms, malt flavors are much more pronounced in the aftertaste … almost a smoked taste, very interesting.

Mouthfeel: A slight step down from the other St. Bernadus beers I've tried; but still excellent. Creamy and smooth with carbonation that's evident without becoming overpowering.

Drinkability: Perfect! The alcohol is present but masked and the taste is amazing … I could drink these until I was happier than the monk.

While the Abt. 12 has a more complex flavor, I think the Prior 8 wins of drinkability. A supremely drinkable, tasty Trappist Ale, and proof that St. Bernadus can do no wrong.

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

33cl Brown bottle.
It pours a deep amber with a firm beige head of lots of sticky lace.
A big fruity smell and earthy aroma burst out upon pouring. Cut hay, sweet malt, hops and citrus smells follow.
A light caramel and candy sugar taste sweetens the fresh bread flavor.
Sharp citrusy flavors counter the sweetness to near perfection. A light taste of cloves, coriander and peppery spices, quite separate at first, blend in as it warms. The alcohol is noticeable, but in a totally subtle way. Nice!

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Photo of BeefyMee
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle

A fantastic looking beer. It has a perfect head atop a remarkable body of golden brownish red. The fresh aroma hints at fruit and alcohol. It's rich in flavor, which ranges from a slight sweetness and caramel aspect to a somewhat banana-like fruitiness. Feels like heaven in my mouth; it's silky with an appropriate yeasty zing. I'd kill a six-pack of these if they made it. I can see this beer in my future.

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Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 2,505 ratings