St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,049 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:
1,049
Ratings:
2,384
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
8.43%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
353
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,049 | Ratings: 2,384
Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and murky brown with a thin tan head that dissipated quite quickly. The smell is mild but with some light dark fruit and some spices. The taste is a little more robust and with a nice light sweetness on the finish. There is a little bit of carbonation on the finish but the body has a nice weight and feel to it.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml corked and caged bottle, 2010 vintage, so 4 years old.

Medium body color, foamy off white head. Very nice aroma - complex malt, bready, nutty. Same flavors in the taste, plus some earthy herbal notes. Medium body, soft smooth carbonation. Very nice dubbel, a prime example overall.

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Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with a huge thick beige head with excellent retention and eternal plate. Some floating particles.
Nice aroma with notes of sweet nuts, chocolate, mild hay and prunes.
Flavor with notes of prunes, spices, lots of cocoa chocolate, toasted malts, peppery yeast, candi sugar, figs, grapes, earthy hops and piñacolada rum. Hints of cinnamon and banana. Dry aftertaste with a mild to medium muffled bitterness.
Medium towards full creamy body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8% abv is superbly well hidden.
Excellent brew, between a Dubbel and a BDSA, with good complexity and full of flavors and spices. Well balanced and not overly sweet as several other Belgians can be. Ages well. Recommended.

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

11.2oz Bottle from Total Wine Palm Springs CA for $4

Appearance - Slightly hazy brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, peppery spice mix

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste dates/raisins, malts, clove, and some faint chocolate.

Overall - A great grape/fruity flavour mixed in with the belgian spice mix make this a delicious beer. Very easy to drink and almost refreshing in a way. The perfect amount of sweetness as well.

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Photo of Samp01
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark cloudy brown amber with a large beige lasting head, some mild lacing. Dark dry fruit and Belgian yeast as well as some mild fruity alcohol ester fill the senses. Taste is mild toasted caramel malt followed by a mix of dark dry fruit and Belgian yeast, bread notes. Palate is a medium body, smooth mouth feel with good carbonation. Dry fruit, yeast and bread notes with mildly toasted caramel malt and alcohol on the end. A very well made and nicely balanced brew.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

prior 8 is a real delight. i dont know how so much time in beer has gone by without me trying this ever, but it must have somehow slipped through the cracks. shame on me, because this is a real beauty. a classic dubbel in style, maybe the classic version. not quite as legendary as their quad i dont reckon, but its there in quality. dark muddy amber colored brew, hazy with yeast sediment and a speckled off white head, thick and full of tiny bubbles that keep on holding up. notes of dried fruit dominate here, raisins and plums both come to mind, even figs and molasses, the additional sugar here is super raw, and not all the way fermented out by the dusty spicy belgian strain. not a ton of lingering sweetness, appropriate levels for the style, but there is a real richness created in the texture of this beer. a long experience, yeast and grain driven equally, but showing a higher level of refinement than even the offerings from other belgian monastic types. lighter in body than the quad, but still big, maybe a bit more drinkable. the fruit tones are awesome and permanent, this is a memorable brew, drinking well easier than 8% abv. worth double what they ask for it in my opinion.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours a deep rich brown with a bit of copper/amber at the edges. Good fluffy off-white head, Good head retention and excellent lacing.

Defintie malt smell, as well as some spice

Taste is malt forward. Slight dark fruit notes, but not as noticeable. Slight spiciness on the finish. Things like mulling spices, especially allspice.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, but light enough to be very enjoyablke.

Very good beer.

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Photo of byronic
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber, quite clear with lots of carbonation. A nice beige head forms but turns into spotty lacing barely covering the chalice. Very fragrant with lots of fruit such as figs and raisins followed up by bready aromas. A bit lighter than expected with a touch of sweetness. Despite it's sweetness a touch of bitter is present making this a very refreshing brew. The taste follows through on the nose. There are other many other Dubbel's but this is a solid example that I would be hard pressed to pass up.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle purchased from liquor store in Copenhagen. Served well chilled into whatever I could find unfortunately. Really need to bring some glass ware next time.

Appearance - clear honey brown color with some red hues. Small finger and a bit of white head, dissipates fairly quick. Crazy amount of visible carbonation.

Smell - cherries and chocolate dominate like a cherry cheesecake almost. Some caramel aroma blended into to smooth out the aroma even more. Delightful.

Taste - like the nose, with cherries and chocolate although the flavour doesn't truly overwhelm or coat the mouth. Slightly boozy finish in the aftertaste. Cherry and raisin come out more as it warms. A little bit nutty too.

Mouthfeel - exceptionally lively for carbonation, boozy, but not to the point of overkill and slightly dry finish.

Overall - great dubbel that didn't disappoint.

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Photo of chinchill
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Atlanta Yard House in June 2014, and from a .33L bottle (BB date stamp of Sept. 2016) in a St. Bernardus snifter in June 2016.

A: clear dark amber with a good beige head.

Aroma: loads of dark fruit aromas including dates and raisins. Slight boozy with some nice spicy and bready aspects to the lingering aftertaste.

Flavor: Sweet up front turning bitter-sweet by the finish. Very fruity as is the aroma. Rich, with great depth.

Feel: medium body; proper carbonation that's lively yet soft.

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

Poured from the bottle into an official Bernadus chalice, at Mannequin Pis in Olney MD.

An absolutely gorgeous deep blood red and ruby garnet body color, with mahogany brown in the center. Minimal carbonation, and a thin bubbled light tan head. Manages to always keep a puck while drinking an minimal lacing.

Classic Belgian dark ale notes on the nose, but lighter. Some slight clove and fig, minimal wine like heat. Considerably lighter than I was expecting. Some small touches of cinnamon.

Much of the taste is no surprise from the bouquet. Light bodied and moderately carbonated, and some degree of brown sugar sticky coating in the palate. Light bodied fig and raisin, with some matching clove as well. Some very dry finish and almost mineral perrier tasting.

Overall not too bad, but it's hard for me to get excited about this style. Pretty much textbook, but missing lots of wow factor.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked 30 03 18 at 45 degrees into a goblet
Aroma of a bread bakery specializing in dark and whole-grain bread; also some fig or date aroma
Head average (3.5 cm), very light brown, creamy, diminishing to a partial ring up to 8 mm wide and a large island of foam.
Lacing poor and spotty.
Body medium to dark brown and very hazy – just looks dirty
Flavor begins slightly sweet with the taste of dates; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. As it warms up, the flavor remains the same.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Although not visually appealing, this dubbel is redeemed by the overall good taste and palate. It is slightly sweet, but never too sweet, as dates often are. Overall, a very pleasant brew.

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

One of two regular dubbel offerings from St. Bernardus. Single bottle snagged from a mixed 6-pack and poured into a goblet. A murky light cola brown brew with a large beige head. Aroma is intensely spicy and fruity but with a rum and raisin meets chocolate malt undertone; smells a bit "darker" than some other dubbels but with a pleasant rock candy sweetness. This translate well to the palate and I am enjoying where this particular Belgian is going. Brown bread, clove oil, perhaps some dried apricot or papaya and a unique note that recalls chocolate macaroon. Remains only semi-sweet, however, with the chocolate coconut and cola-like brown spice flavors remaining on the dark side of the ledger as opposed to the cloyingly sweet. Rather brisk carbonation and the body is a hair heavier than other dubbels, yet the drinkability remains high like Chimay Red. Finishes on the dry side as well but with some lingering vanilla and dry chocolate wafer notes. I like this beer as a bridge between the lighter-bodied dubbels and some of the heavier Belgian dark ales. Great balance of sweet and bitter.

 1,100 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark brown with a huge 2 inch off-white head that settles to a cap on top and leaves curtains of lace.

The smell is of musty funk, like wet dirt, figs, lemon zest and biscuit bread.

The taste is of plums, figs, citrus, black cherry, clove and cinnamon.

The texture is medium bodied with high carbonation. A steady stream of tiny bubbles rise up throughout the drink down.

An impressive dubbel. Nice aromas and flavors with a refreshing mouthfeel.

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Photo of BlazerT
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark amber, reddish, clear with big white, dense, medium-lasting head, medium lacing.

S: Malty sweetness, moderate and noticable fruity esters esp. fresh apple esters, than dark fruits - plums, raisins.

T: medium malty sweetness, low bitterness, some yeasty and earthy notes, fruity and fresh - apple and dark fruits esters, some alcohol noticable.

M: medium body, high carbonation, very low alcohol warmth.

O: Refreshing and fruity dubbel. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This pours a dark brown color with a highly carbonated tan head. Smell is sweet and malty. The taste is disappointing as there really wasn't much complexity and flavor I expect from belgian beers. This was light bodied, which could be considered good to some, but for the style i'm expecting a fuller beer. The taste I did get was a little bit a chocolate and slight bit of dark fruits. Overall, this is an solid beer, but I wouldn't take it over most belgian dubbels. (84/100)

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Photo of JTuomi
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle (30 03 18) into a goblet. Amber brown with one finger tan head with good retention and lacing. Smell and taste have moderately sweet roasted caramel malts with spice and raisins. Roasted malts and raisins on the semi dry aftertaste. Became sweeter as it warmed up. Creamy mouthfeel, medium body and medium-high carbonation. Very drinkable with well hidden alcohol. Quite a lot of yeast in the bottle. A really nice dubbel that's not too sweet.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My beer guru invited me over to split a few beers and rolled out this one. Wow, great looking and smelling beer with an even better taste. hard to be critical but maybe a little thin. Very smooth and easy to drink, overall an excellent beer and one I hope to revisit.

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Photo of Copernicandream
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. 21-09-16

A: Pours a light/moderate brown color with some foamy head that implodes on itself to settle on the rim. I don't know why but I had to stop pouring about an ounce short of emptying the bottle - the yeast just kept coming. Even with my early stop, I have about 1cm of yeast at the bottom of my glass???

S: Malt, figs, plum, and anise. To a lesser extent molasses (candi sugar) and yeasty spice.

T: Early malt, with some plum and dark fruit, builds into the candi sugar and finishes s with some burnt sugar. The yeast is incredibly complex, spicy phenols provide some light burn to the late palate and into the after taste.

M: A little watery and fizzy, its sort of ecelectic and unsure of itself. The moderate/high carbonation does help release the most interesting characters on the palate.

O: Did I pour it wrong, did I get the bottom of the barrel - what is with all this yeast? Like whoa. Otherwise this is an excellent dubbel with a subdued character that hits all the right notes. I was impressed by the spiciness provided by the yeast - that said I apparently got an ounce of yeast in my 330mL.

 1,149 characters

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

Poured bottle dated 6/11/18 into a St Bernardus glass

A-Pours a very dark brown color with a solid, pillowy head that drops to a thin beige film on the surface.

S-Beautifully rich, creamy-smooth aromas of figs, raisins, brown sugar, nuts, spiced apple cider, and yeast.

T-Flavor is sweet brown bread, mellow spices, and apple and banana yeast esters. Raisin and clove on the back end.

M-The mouthfeel is very smooth, medium body, slightly creamy.

O-Another great dubbel by St Bernardus

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a lovely dark, deep-reddish brown. A tall, tan head recedes rather quickly, but maintains about a quarter inch and leaves some nice, light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Excellent strength, one of the stronger scents that I've gotten from a dubbel so far. Some caramel sweetness, dark fruit, maybe fig. A little breadiness.

T - Follows the nose. Caramel up front, then dark fruit. Breadiness comes in on the back end. The finish has just a hint of alcohol. Wonderful combination of flavors carefully woven together.

M - Starts of with a wonderful medium-full body, but with a soft feel to it. The feel changes a bit on the finish. It feels over-carbonated and borders on astringent. However, as the beer warms and the carbonation subsides a bit, these prickly feeling fades. Perhaps a more vigorous pour would have helped.

O - Only slight flaw that I found was on the feel, and that may be fixable. I have had some truly delicious dubbels lately, and they are fast becoming one of my favorite styles. This is certainly right up there with the finest examples.

 1,080 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay chalice. The pour is deep read, clear, and fairly dark. It sports 2 fingers of dense beige foam which dies down a little quickly to about 1/8 inch of fine beige foam. The nose is rich, sweet with fruity esters and spicy phenols. There's a fair amount of bready, toffee-like malt notes, dark fruit, and a hint of chocolate.

The beer has a medium body and a rich flavor that's noticeably less intense than the Abbot. I get sweet bready flavors up front. At mid-palate, dark fruits like raisins, dates, and plums come in, mixing with the breadiness and adding a nice richness. I get a slight warming alcohol presence at the finish. Very nice level of carbonation for the style.

A terrific Dubbel. Definitely preferable to the Prior 8 offering. It has more of a malt presence, added sweetness, and a richer flavor. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy dark Belgian strong ales in the Abbey style.

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Photo of Ryan_MillerTime
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Taste!
Abundant Head.
Caramel, sugar notes. Sweet.
Grainy. Malty.
Good lacing.
Not too heavy. Easy to drink.
Great fall beer.
Full of life. Won't disappoint.
I'm typically an IPA guy, but I could stick with this bad boy. Mmmmm zesty!
Peace

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Photo of BierJager89
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark opaque amber with a tan ring of head.

S: Caramel, sugars, candi sugar in the nose.

T: Starts off with caramel and malt, followed by some orange, lemon and grass, ending with candi sugar and burnt sugar.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: Pretty good, definitely not their best or second best, but worth a try (I suggest the small bottles unless you really like the style a lot), recommended.

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

Appearance: Pours a nice dark brown with a voluminous tan head. Leaves good lacing

Smell: Dark fruit, vanilla, malt, some interesting yeast character

Taste: Fruity, malty, some vanilla, bready, grain, fantastic yeast phenols. Complex and tasty

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Fantastic, another home run from St. Bernardus. Possibly one of my favorite Belgian breweries.

 392 characters

St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,384 ratings.
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