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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 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.

 519 characters

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.

 467 characters

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.

 465 characters

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)

 477 characters

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.

 455 characters

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.

 267 characters

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!

 252 characters

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.

 408 characters

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

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

Pours a very dark brown color with a solid, pillowy head that drops to a thin beige film on the surface. Beautifully rich, creamy-smooth aromas of figs, raisins, brown sugar, nuts, spiced apple cider, and yeast. Flavor is sweet brown bread, mellow spices, and apple and banana yeast esters. Raisin and clove phenolics on the back end along with some black pepper and a slight cherry tartness. Dry, prickly, medium-fullish body. Lots of character...good Dubbel!

 460 characters

Photo of heygeebee
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


An on-the-money Dubbel with all the right elements of raisins, prunes, sherry, hint nutmeg.

Only noteworthy point is mouthfeel, which is oddly very fizzy to start with, but also somewhat watery, at odds with ABV.

However, all in all a top drink if not as good as some of its stablemates.

 298 characters

Photo of LVituri
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uma boa cerveja, mas um tanto distante da abt 12. Mas mesmo assim ela cerveja interessante. Longe de ser uma das to of mind do estilo, mas um bom rótulo para compor o time da St. Bernardus, que com certeza é uma das mais respeitadas cervejarias da Bélgica.

 259 characters

Photo of Or80rowley
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding Dubble!

A. Pours a cloudy amber, nice fluffy light tan three finger head

S. Delightful fresh bread, yeast, sweet dark fruit, malt

T. Bread, sweet, but not too sweet. Raisin, plum, grain aftertaste

M. Refreshing, smooth, medium body, slightly creamy

O. I like drinking this one @ my band practice, it's a fun social beer

 338 characters

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

The color appeared thick as a rich mahogany hue supported a dense crown of thick foam.

The nose holds a tempered sweetness of prune, dark fruit, maple and a bready backbone.

The flavor holds true with sweet breads, maple and raisin though I feel the flavors are a touch subtle.

The feel is thick and full with an almost sticky quality.

This is a perfect example of the style just more subtle with a tempered personality.

 424 characters

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

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Elegant, thin creamy head - small but steadfast. Ample lacing in sheets that slowly recede. Murky, dark reddish-brown.

Real mellow, delicate aromas. Mild caramel malt, dark fruity esters, raisin notes. Little to no booze.

The flavor won't smack you upside your head, but it's really solid. Moderate toasted caramel, overripe fig, raisin, and a hint of root beer. Vague hints of chocolate rise up in the aftertaste.

Extremely smooth, round feel. Medium-bodied, at least. Drops off in the finish with super-mellow trails of alcohol warmth.

Satisfying and very enjoyable. One of the more solid examples. Worth many trips back.

 664 characters

Photo of tastybeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dirty brown color and fairly opaque. Big poofy head is slightly off white in color. Aroma is harmoniously sweet, fruity with prunes, dark berries, caramel goodness, fig newtons, and a very pleasant mellow maltiness. Taste is just the same. Very delicate and fulfilling. Sweet, malty, chocolaty, fruity with berries. Mouthfeel is super smooth and a little buttery. Finely prickly carbonation. A fine beer.

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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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