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St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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1,043 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,043 | Ratings: 2,366
Photo of Brew_Darrymore
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just opened a 330ml bottle. Served at 10°C. Nice, white head, great long-lasting lacing. I find it a little dry and lighter in flavour compared to other dubbels.

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

From elcervecero. In La Trappe chalice. After dinner. Not bad but after taking the Rochefort 8 yesterday this seems too soft in all aspects. However, pretty good for a dubbel

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Photo of OlaB
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Nice brown color , the foams disapear kind of quick.Look is great
S: great smell of malt, fruits and caramel
T: the taste was great ,with a malty taste and a hint of caramel and brown sugar.Gives that warm feeling at the end
F: First mouthfull was great , with a fresh feeling
O. A great dubbel that impressed me,it was very tasty , and i am exited to try the abt 12 this weekend

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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 NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-A deep brown amber with a half centimeter eggshell head. Reduces to a thin film of bubbles with spotty lacing.
S-malty with alcohol presence.
T- sweet bready malts are the first presence noted followed by smooth alcohol warmth. Not harsh in the slightest.
F-light prickly carbonation leading to a soft medium mouthfeel. It coats the tongue and the flavor lingers as a result.
O-If you are looking for a smooth easy drinking Dubbel than this is your beer. Personally I find many american Dubbels are just as good and easier on the wallet. Still I'd drink this beer anytime it was offered as it is not doubt tasty.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle, best before 25 09 18, served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Despite a slow pour, some sediment came along, but I was able to keep most of it it in the bottle. Dark coppery brown, some cloudiness and floaters when held up to the light. Light tan persistent head with some thick strands of lacing.

Smell: Malty, fruity esters, caramel.

Taste: Caramel, Belgian candi sugar, berry notes/fruity esters, just a hint of metallic flavor with the bitterness at the finish. Some mild noble hop bitterness at the finish. Definitely a malty / sweet beer, but not cloying.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick with lively carbonation but not fizzy. A tiny bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A very fine Dubbel, and I would not mind having another one. I will definitely have to look out for the 750 mL bottle next time.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy, dark red-brown with a huge, three finger high, beige, head.

Nose: Caramel malt, butter, vanilla, orange, red fruit, oak, brown sugar, toffee, whipped cream, raisin and hops.
Taste: Yeast, spice, caramel malt, brown sugar, raisin, biscuit, dark fruit and vanilla.
Body: Medium body. High carbonation.

It's just a GREAT Belgian beer! Love it!

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep dark brown, almost purple. Tan head gives way to a thin cap of foam. Wonderful aromas of brown sugar, oak, vanilla, dried dark fruit, and a hint of tobacco. Taste is of dates and raisins up front an fades to steely/grassy noble hops character with a lingering bitterness. Somewhat thin and fizzy mouthfeel. The beer looked smelled great, but I was a bit dissappointed with the taste, I would have liked a bit less hops.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Prior 8 pours a hazy brown color, with a small but lacing head. There is a big spicy and dry fruit aroma. The taste has big spice flavors, some yeast notes, and large dry fruit flavors. Big flavors, good body. Overall, spicy and fruity, very good beer.

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Photo of leephil
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A beautiful dark Amber brew with a thick tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. The smell is malty but somewhat chocolatey at the same time. The alcohol does not come forward and notes of chocolate are present and the malt is clearly present. The feel is a very slight afterbite that quickly vanishes and this ale feels much lighter than it appears to be with a clean finish when the final bite dissipates. Overall, a very good, very delicious and very drinkable ale that does not lose its flavor or character as it warms up.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours a dark amber brown color with minimal head.

smells like a sweet brown sugar bread malt.

this beer has a nice thick slight-hop taste at first but fades to a dark sugar taste.

i can tell this is carbonated, it has a "fizzy" feel to it. has a full taste but lighter body

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly nice white head that dissipates at a moderate pace. The beer itself is a nice brown color that has a lot of texture. The beer appears to be pretty cloudy with some actual yeast inside of it.

The beer smell is very sweet and slightly sugary. The smell is definitely malt heavy and gives off a toffee and caramel note that borders on a dark raisin note. There is also a slight Belgian sugar note as well as a light bitter pine hop note to add a little complexity into the brew. Very slight alcohol nose.

The beer taste is pretty good. The main notes are that it's malty with strong caramel and toffee tones as well as a little bit of dark fruit. Although, the dark fruit note is a bit stronger. The alcohol note is more noticeable. The hop is also a bit lighter.

The beer is pretty smooth while the beer is heavy bodied. Very light carbonation but enough to give it a bit of fluffiness.

Overall, a fairly good dubbel. While not as good as the Trappists, this abbey is definitely impressive.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is really a delightful dubbel that, frankly, well outpaces the more renowned Westy 8. Nose is the epitome of evolution, starting out with a huge hit of delicious dark bread, then moving into chocolate-covered cherry territory, then, as it gets closer to room temp, some caramel, a hint of dark fruit, and a touch of yeast/booze. Palate is very smooth, uplifted by that bouyancy so common to the better Belgian ales. A bit of camelized sweetness, a bit of spice and bite, and a connecting thread of fruitiness that, like the nose, evolves over time. Really at its sweet spot at cool cellar temps, as the bottle says -- 50-55 degrees or so. By the end of the glass, it felt like it had warmed a bit much, some of the fizz finally gone, and the flavors getting a bit muddled. Overall, though, this is a tremendous beer, so well done, and easily found. Cheers, St. B!

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My first of three offerings from St. Bernardus.
33cl btl, BB 04.27.2016 purchased at grocery store in Brussels

Served chilled in tulip.
Pours dark brown, dark head dissipates almost completely in a minute.
Not much aroma, not much going on carbonation-wise....hmmmm....
Sweet, syrupy dark malt is the dominant taste. Notably, no yeastiness in the flavour at all...this fits my personal preference, but seems atypical of this style.
No astringency, but a little dryness. Sweet aftertaste.
Very drinkable, a beer that is too easy to put away too fast.
Very good, quite different (if not unique), and hence a name for anyone's "10 Belgian Abbey's" list to sample IMO.
Can't wait to try the next ones in my fridge. Stay tuned....

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


St. Bernardus Prior 8
Dubbel - 8.0% - 330ml Bottle - Bottled 01.09.2014 (1 year old)

From St. Bernardus’ website:
St.Bernardus Prior 8 is a traditional abbey ale brewed in the classic "Dubbel" style of Belgium's Best Abbey Ales. It has a ruby to purple color, smooth, creamy richness of texture that is almost oily, and a malt-fruit complexity reminiscent of coconut. (8% alc. vol.)
It finds the perfect balance between sweet, bitter and malty tastes. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.

Appearance: One finger off white foamy head when poured, dropping to just cover beer fairly quickly. Beer is black to very dark brown in glass and dark brown into yellow when held up to light. 20 minutes after opening the head has given way in places to reveal a beautiful deep red brew underneath it.

Aroma: Steaming toffee, fruit- apples, peaches, sherry, caramel.

Taste: The first time I tasted this I remember not being overly impressed - must have been ill because the first taste has just blown me away. Creamy mouth feel, tastes are toast, burnt caramel, fading out to a lovely subtle bitter finish courtesy of the hops. Surprisingly dry for a dubbel...That's the taste I've been trying to put my finger on TOASTED TEA CAKES! Like its big brother the Abt. 12 this one is fantastic left out of fridge for 2 hours before opening, so it's not too cold. Thermometer check showing 20 deg. I would say this is the optimal temperature for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Oily in a good way, leaves mouth feeling surprisingly fresh afterwards unlike many dark beers.

Overall: Last time I tasted this I tried the Pater 6 around the same time and thought that was a better beer, now I'm finding that difficult to believe and will revisit Pater 6 soon. This is an amazing brew, a solid 9.5/10.

St. Bernardus Prior 8
UPDATE: 20.02.2016
330ml Bottle - Bottled 13.08.2015 (6 months old)

The yeast still has a quite sharp aroma at this age, perhaps could benefit from a little more time. Otherwise in the aroma, big hits dark fruity bread and alcohol. Taste-wise, I’m getting loads of liquorice straight away followed by the dry finish that’s mentioned above. Overall; while thoroughly enjoyable at 6 months and still an absolute firm favourite, I do feel that just a tad more age here, would take it up to that next level as per the above review of a one year old bottle.

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Photo of Doderlein_Bacillus
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty spicy aroma. Sweetish malty spicy flavor with hints of dark fruit. Has a sweetish malty spicy dark fruit finish.

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Photo of IPA1978
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- cloudy coke with a massive head that lingers fo some time.
S- carmel and toffee with slight cardboard scent, similar to St. B 12 but subdued.
T- very delicate dark fruit, figs, toffee and typical spicey yeast that lingers on the pallete. Flavours are richer as it warms.
M-medium body with lush carbonation.
O- great dubbel that is suprisingly soft and elegant.

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Photo of Buck89
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Deep dark ruby brown with thick tan head. Dark fruit, raisins, toast and floral yeast n the nose. Taste follows the same, with a nice warming dry finish. Really excellent dubbel.

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Photo of GuitarIPA
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - brown with reddish hue, particulates, tan head, lacing throughout
S/T - plum, dark fruits are predominant smell/flavors for me
F - well carbonated, Medium to light body, but not thin

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Photo of Gajo74
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a finger length bubbly slightly tan head. It quickly dissipates to a lace that partly covers the top of the drink, like a new moon. A swirl of the glass activates the lace, yet, it is not as prominent as other Belgians.
Initially, a sweet bubble gum aroma, then, a pleasant smell of dark warm biscuity and toasty malts. It is the type of warm heart aroma you appreciate on a cold day. Slight sour twang as well as a very faint alcohol.
Sweet and malty on the tongue but interestingly a sour finish. The stinging carbonation is tight, thus, it is better to allow it to warm. The taste does indeed get better, and as it warms, a dark fruit raisin like aroma becomes evident. Medium to full bodied.
Overall a solid Dubbel.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Similar to Pater 6 but with more yeasty and malty notes (higher ABV too) and a prettier body (darker).
Hints of chocolate (milk chocolates and chocolate sprinkles) and cinnamon.

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Photo of Vixie
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a really nice deep red color with close to an inch of a tan head. The heads stays around a bit, leaving a bit of lace across the top.

Smell is strongly of caramel and toffee. It reminds me a bit of the smell of caramel popcorn and roasted marshmallows, with a hint of bread.

The taste is a bit more laid back than the smell would indicate. It is sweet up front, caramel and toffee like the smell hints at. There is a hint of fruit, like raisin, along with a peppery spice near the finish. It does leave a bit of alcohol warming at the end.

Nice smooth feel to this, quite a bit of tingling from the carbonation.

This is a really nice beer. Not quite up to the level of their 12, but since the styles are not the same, to be expected. This seems to be a bit of a warmer weather beer, as it is easy drinking and flavorful. I generally prefer triples and quads, but this is a great example of the style, and can hold its own with any other dubbels.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.98/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark mahogany color, with three fingers of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with notes of bready, toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly baked sourdough bread, subtle aromas of candied sugar, toffee, some subtle aromas of dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes. There is also quite a bit of Belgian yeast, which imparts aromas of saddle leather, and spices of clove.

Taste: Very nice and very subtle. There are some very nice flavors of bready toasted malt, up front, followed by candied sugar and toffee-like sweetness, and the aforementioned dried stone fruit, such as raisins and prunes. Finally, there is the funky, spicy Belgian yeast, imparting spices of clove, ginger and all-spice, as well as a slight sourness at the finish. What is interesting is that these flavors are softer and more subtle than the flavors of Belgian dubbles that I’ve had. It’s quite unique and original.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy and nicely effervescent as there is quite a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 8%, there is just a slight kiss of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is the third beer that I’ve had from St. Bernardus, and so far, the brewery is three, for three! This is an excellent, delicious beer!

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep red-brown like burnished mahogany, and forms a thick head of just barely off-white, which lingers a bit ere dwindling to a cap and ring. Lacing is nonexistent.

Smell: Redolent with a variety of fruits, from raisin and plum to cherry and fig, with hints of currant as well. Belgian candi sweetness underlies the fruit aromas, like a mattress of cotton candy buoying the orchard upwards.

Taste: In contrast to the fruity nose, the taste opens with a serious wallop of dark bread, which is accompanied by both a rush of alcohol heat and a slurry of faint, mingled stone fruits. This persists through the middle, and at the finish, the alcohol falls away to reveal a beautiful caramel-toffee bread soaked in raisin and currant preserves and served up on a plate of leather. At times, a metallic tinge swims through the beer, coppery and harsh.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly fizzy and prickly, this somehow remains full and sticky. There's enough carbonation to lend a sharpness to the entire tasting process.

Overall: I actually get far more noticeable alcohol heat out of the Prior 8 than the Abt 12, likely due to the reduced punch of the malt and yeast profiles. This is not even in my top 3 beers from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear brown with gold highlights...lighter than I expected. Nose is sweet malt, but no really a big bouquet. Flavor is...a disappointment quite frankly. Medium sweetness, but lacking the dried fruit and complex malt profile I was expecting. Just a bit of roasted flavors and cocoa, but not much. Quick finish. Overly carbonated, to me, with a very soda pop mouthfeel. I really expected much more.
For some reason I thought this might be similar to the Westvletern 8 based on the previous relationship between these two, but this doesn't come close to Westy 8.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,366 ratings.
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