St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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1,040 Reviews
St. Bernardus Prior 8St. Bernardus Prior 8

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium | website

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: 1,040 | Ratings: 2,356
Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml glass bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A - This is just gorgeous, a dark brown with almost a little red coming through, like a mahogany or cherrywood, with a nice 3/4 inch tan head that laces the side of the glass right from the start.

S - Smells like sweet fruit flavored candy, some cherries and other sweet smells. A little nuttines coming through at the end and some alchol. Very nice.

T - Wow a taste altogether different from the smell. A bready taste with more of a subdued banana kick then cherry like fruit taste. Nice alcohol kick on the finish. Very good beer.

M - A nice smooth feel.
Very creamy and thick, but not overkill. Good level of carbonation for the style.

D - A nice sipper that goes down nice and easy, especially despite its relatively thick feeling in the mouth.

Notes: Excellent, I can't wait to try the 12 that I have sitting in the cellar.

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Photo of Brewfan
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at a bit colder than room temp into my Trappist Rochefort chalace purchased for $3 at BCTC.
Very thick tight off white head that lasted long into the beer. Lots of thick lace that clung like superglue to the side of the glass. After 10 minutes, the head is finally starting to break up.
Murky dark brown/mahogany color.
Nose of candied fruits and biscuits, dates and yeasty banana bread with walnuts. Hint of alcohol towards the end. Gorgeous.
Initial lace is still clinging to the side of the glass from my first sip 10 minutes ago.
Malt and biscuits caramelized sugarplums upon tasting this beer. Home-made sugar cookies with not too much carbonation. Slight bitterness towards the middle of the glass. Velvety smooth mouthfeel, begs to be drank. So me being the gentleman that I am, I happily oblige.
A very well crafted beer. The 8% ABV is hidden well. One I will definately keep on hand for special moments, or just when I want a kick ass dubble.

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Photo of ichigodisaster
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark, slightly murky, mahogany pour with a massive soapy off white head that sticks around and leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. She's very easy on the eyes. Har har.

Big cherry aroma, followed by something warm akin to banana nut bread with a hint of spice and even licorice.

Taste is fabulous, mildly spicy all the way through, with brown sugar, vanilla, dried plums and dates, a bit of a wine character that I like surprisingly and a slightly dry tartness that coats the tongue begging you to have more. There's an alcohol presence that is warm and soothing. It makes me want to eat the glass.

Velvety and full in the mouth, a pleasure to let it roll around. Perfect to savor with every sip. Oh dear, I'm tempted to drink all four.

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Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl. bottle poured into a wine glass. Purchased a 4-pack for around $12.

Appearance: Big burst of an off-white foamy head at first, and as I first thought my glass may have been dirty -- as the lacing and head weren't all I desired -- I finally finished with a big pour, which is clearly how it was supposed to be done. The head is amazing and the lace retention is finally starting to loosen its grip. Some tulips, snifters, and flutes will certainly be purchased soon, as this is a regular red wine glass (though it's doing the trick for me right now).

Smell: Sweet cherries in the nose at first, along with other dark, candied, and tropical fruit aromas. Another thing that comes across very well is the vinous and grape quality. Not as much spice as I thought would be present, which I think adds more than it detracts. Some light phenolic and yeast qualities start to surface as the beer warms.

Taste: Certainly a combination between wine-like vinous qualities and dark, tart cherries at first. Clove and candi sugar follow closely behind, with faint phenols following for the aftertaste. Some fruit like plums, and some raisin quality then begin to come through. Ends sweet with some dryness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy with a pretty thick budy. Lush and velvety with the finish, and the carbonation levels are damn near perfect.

Drinkability: Since this is 8% and it has less sugar than a tripel, it's quite a possible to have a few of these at a sitting, though if so they should surely be sipped slowly (say that 5 times fast).

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown with some ruby color when held to the light, and a nice creamy tan head that sticks to the glass like nobody's business. Aroma is initially very fruity with cherry, plum, date and raisin notes followed by a some candied sugar sweetness and some spices (clove and corriander) and light phenols. The taste begins with some fresh fruit flavors of cherry, plum and raisin, then some light cocoa notes, candied sugar, light spiciness (mainly clove) , light floral and grassy hops flavor and a slightly phenolic and lightly sweet finish with some light alcohol notes. Mouthfeel is full and rich with a medium to big body and light carbonation. An excellent dubbel, my favorite by far...less phenolic and spicy than most with a nice, complex fruit character that matches the light sweetness perfectly.

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

Appearance: Gorgeous Ruby/Mahogany color with bubbles streaming up constantly. Large foaming tan head that sticks around.

Smell: Dark fruits and alcohol

Taste: Follows the smell with some big Belgian flavors coming through and the ever-present alcohol taste. Very rich, almost buttery.

Mouthfeel: For such a dark-tasting beer, the mouthfeel is surprisingly light. There is a slight aftertaste of the fruits and alcohol, but it is not overwhelming or bothersome.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, especially for a beer with a high ABV. Goes down smooth and isn't too heavy.

Another great brew from St. Bernardus, my favorite Belgian monk! Not as complex as Abt 12, but delicious nonetheless. If you have the means, I highly recommend procuring a bottle at your soonest convenience.

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Photo of AltBock
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle that was dated best before 29-07-09.

Appearance: Poured a wonderful dark murky brown color with a inch head of foam that left some lace in the glass. You could also see all the bubbles raising to the top of the glass. A real treat!

Smell: You get the nice complex aroma of Dark fruits, sweet malts, and a whole bunch of spices. It's very easy on the nose.

Taste: Its a pleasant mix of malts, some chocolate, and traces of fruits and spices. Basically its just a lot of malts in the taste. Reminded me a bit like a Dopplebock.

Mouthfeel: It was a smooth medium to full bodied beer with lots of carbonation. After you drink the whole bottle, you really start to feel that 8% going to work on you.

Drinkability: Due to the price and alcohol content, this is a beer that's only good once in a while. An excellent beer for my first Dubbel. This is a beer that would age very well in the right climate temp.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty brown, with a solid 1 1/2 finger head that settled into a 1/4 cap that never faded away, with pretty nice lacing.

Smells doughy with cloves, dark fruits, and some mild spices that I can't place.

Taste is of bready malts, spices, and candied sugars. There's hardly any hop flavor to this beer and it finished kind of dry.

I prefer the Abt. 12, but I'd get this again. A solid Dubbel.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a dark brown color with a dinosuaric white head. The aroma is fantastic. Dark fruits, spices, cloves. The first thing noticable about the taste is how refreshing it is. After that it is sweet, fruity, slitghly nutty. The mouthfeel is meduim-full bodied with tons of carbonation. Overalll, this is a very, very good brew.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pured with a frothy off white head. Brown, but has some ruby and purpleish hues when held to light. I get very little from the aroma. Maybe some chocolate, raisin, mostly malt.Fairly heavy on the palate. Light carbanation. No real sign of the 8% alcohol until you swallow, and the just a hint. I’d say I’d go buy another couple of bottles and put the in the cellar, but I don’t think that is what this beer needed. Actually, this beer is probably exactly as intended, just not wowing me

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Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear reddish brown brew with a pillowy tan head.

Smell is banana bread, pears, melon, and cucumber? A bit of tart tang. There is a little spice in this but it is rather subdued in scent.

Taste is semi dry and the first thing that hits you is banana, not strongly this is a milder Dubbel than most. Very mild mannered the flavor of cake is all ways present. Mild flavors of brown sugar and melon are present but this isn't a strongly flavored beer.

Mouthfeel is good and thick.

Drinkability is excellent. I expected more in the flavor department but this is a mild mannered easy drinker.

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

Presentation: Very suggested serving temperature (50-54 deg. F) and a best by date (I think 9/27/05).

Appearance: A slightly cloudy deep ruby pour with an off-white perfect two-finger sudsy head. Looks great in my Chimay chalice.

Smell: Wonderful blend of raisins, date bread, sweet malt, deep dark, dried fruits. Smells great.

Taste: Starts out a little peppery, then a malty sweetness develops. I continue to taste raisins, dates, and any other dark dried fruit you can imagine. This ends with a light, yeasty finish. Further tastes do reveal some alcohol presence in the base.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and almost creamy. The carbonation keeps it from being too heavy handed.

Drinkability: Just wonderful. One to be sipped and appreciated. I have a feeling if I hurry this one the alcohol will hit my like a velvet hammer. BTW...the head retention on this is amazing. I'll definitely have to try more examples of this style. Strongly recommended.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/15/05- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a notched dating at the bottom of the label. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Nice brown pour. At first a lightly creamy looking 1/2 inch head, but quickly disappears leaving just a slight rim of head. Average t lighter lace.

Smell- Dark malts and dark fruits. Not much else.

Taste- The dark fruits come out, but they are fairly mellow and muted. Definite raisins and figs. Not as much sweetness as I expected, but enough to keep your attention. Maybe a pinch of brown sugar as well.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth and a bit creamy, nice carbonation level for a dubbel.

Drinkability- For a dubbel this is a damn good one. A tad more sweetness would have put this one over the top. St. B never lets you down though.

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Photo of soper2000
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm actually pretty surprised to see that I haven't reviewed this beer before. Picked up a 750 or 22 ouncer or whatever you can buy in Texas of this at Spec's in downtown Houston.

Pours with an aggressive head into a tulip glass. Body is an amber tinged brown which supports a healthy 3 fingers of off-white creamy froth. Aroma is full of dark fruits much like it's stronger brother but yeast isn't quite as strong smelling as the 12. Taste is very rich, layers of plums and raisins lead to a sweet sugary finish. This beer is not hot but definitely leaves a warmer finish than other brews of the same strength. Mouthfeel is very creamy and drinkability superb. Another stellar beer from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. brown bottle, poured into my St. B glass.

Clear dark brown with red tints topped by a large biege head of irregular shape. Nice lacing.

Bread like malts in the nose, followed by complex fruity esters of a ripe cherry vibe and hints of yeast.

Medium-full body with mild carbonation and a groovy roundness. This beer is has a great grain flavor and tons of depth coming in all over the map. A taste like fresh cherries settles on the mouth in the finish. At times molasses or brown sugar come to mind. That cherry flavor in the back is awsome.

St. B is the shit! It's amazing they can get all of those flavors from just malt, hops, water, yeast, and maybe a bit of sugar. The quad, the tripel, and even the dubbel are kick ass. Bow down to this bad MF. Did I mention St. B is the shit?

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark hazy color with good head that holds it's own.
Smells of molassas. Tastes of sweet spices with distinctive belgian flavor.
Smooth full bodied with nice carbonation, but it doesn't stand out. Alcohol adds to overall experience.

This is the kinds of dubbel I enjoy.

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

Really nice dark brown color and very thick head. Very nice looking beer. Really nutty flavor, it starts strongly then gives way to a delicate hop bitterness and woody undertones. This is one of the best birthday presents I've ever recieved! Thanks Joe.

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Photo of bceaglejoe
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle with "280409" stamped on the back. Purchased at Luke's Liquors, Rockland, MA.

Presentation: Poured a cloudy dark brown color into a tulip glass. It was a very rich-looking beer. A thick off-white head showed lots of carbonation. Retention was exceptional. There were lots of little foam bubbles coming up in the beer. The scent was thick and malty, with a slight estery backdrop consisting of grapes, cloves, and licorice. It was a very complex and pleasant aroma.

Tasting: A strong malt presence came across up front, followed by alcohol warmth and slight fruit flavors. Grape and red wine were the most prevalent of these tastes. There was no hop bitterness at all in this beer. The alcohol wasn't really covered as much by the flavors, though. There was a moderate body with good viscosity across the tongue. Since this beer had a slightly higher alcohol content, and it comes across as very warm on the tongue in that respect, it's a little bit less drinkable then other products of the same brewery. But it's still a very nice beer.

Overall, it was enjoyable, and it was a good way to celebrate getting a new job.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my St. B goblet a dark brown with translucent edges. Tan foam dissipated rather quickly, some stickiness. Smell is pretty tame too. Some malty notes, slight spice, and faint banana? Maybe? Taste picks up for it though...a champagne-like bubbly combination of candi-ed fruit, allspice, and cola nut. Not nearly as complex as other examples of the style. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, especially in the roof of the mouth. Oh so easy to drink. Nothing is particularly fantastic about the brew, but it is a nice plain dubbel that should not go untasted.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice mahogany colour, with orange hints when held to the light... Off-white, healthy head holds nicely.

The smell carries a dark maltiness laced with spice, and some hops near the end. There are hints of orange and papaya here.

On first taste, you're hit by a subtle spiciness that builds in the back of the mouth, and moves forward in a wave that releases a dark maltiness along with a bit of brown sugar, orange, and just hint of cherry. It's also a bit yeasty. And maybe I'm imagining it, but there seems to be an ever so subtle cinnamon tone in it.

On the mouth, there's a tight fizziness up front that gives way to a pleasant slightly thick consistency, and just a touch of sliminess on the front of the tongue, that is not unpleasant.

I find this rather drinkable, but at 8%, it better not be an extended session. Very nice. This will NOT be my last encounter with Prior 8.

Be well

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Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle purchased somewhere local, most likely. Best by 7/12/06, as noted on bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" beige head over the translucent, effervescent burgundy brew. Dense, frothy head ain't going nowhere, and lacing is chunky and prevalent. Aroma is sweet yet spicy, and makes me anticipate the taste, and what more can we really ask for? Taste is sweet at the start, with spices tingling the tastebuds here and there, and this flavor combination fades slowly upon swallowing. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very nice, going down smooth and creamy, and leaving you anticipating the next mouthful. Very nice offering here.

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Photo of scooter231
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I very much enjoyed this beer. When the bottle was empty... it was a sad story. It poured a very dark brown/reddish color with rapidly disappearing head. Smelled sweet. Lots of dark fruits, some chocolate, and a hint of lemonyness.

Taste was downright fabulous. Sweet, dry, floral, more chocolate. Just yummy. Every sip seemed to be better than the last. Very warming as well. And the alcohol flavor wasn't really that present- very sneaky.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and chewy, a nice full body. Very tasty, and slightly filling. Could see it being too heavy after a while, but this is one classy beer.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750mL bottle poured into a goblet... a little over $8 at Oliver's in Albany.
For my money this is better than Rochefort 8.
My palate seems to agree with my wallet.
Maybe the best dubbel I've encountered so far.
Every aspect of this brew kept me wanting more.
I kept wanting to smell and taste this... there was something in the flavor that I couldn't quite pin down but I know I like it.
Has a lovely mild spicyness that pulses throughout the experience... a light to medium body in the mouthfeel that made this a pleasure to come back to sip after sip.
Its got soul.
And it's supah-bad.
Which is good.

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

750 ml corked (champagne style) brown silk print bottle, bought in Denmark. Brown colour with a slight haziness, pours with a large fluffy off-white head. Very nice aroma of oak, leather, yeast, brown sugar, dried fruits and spices, hints of barnyard. Flavour has plenty of brown sugar, malts, oak and figs, hints of sour berries. Some spices and a certain alcoholic bite in the finish. I had to struggle to finish the big bottle by myself, which means that the brown sugar sweetness combined with 8% ABV becomes a little too much in the end. The big bottles are for sharing! Still - this is another solid abbey beer.

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

Large bottle, caged and corked. Best before dating found here on the top of the cage. Pours cloudy, warm honey brown.Lots of yeast in the final pour. Head is huge, tan, very long standing , world class lace production. Nose is an interesting mix of soap/ginger/spice/sugar and perfume. Lucious brew. Heady. Complex. A ton of warming fruit flavors. Spicy. Herbal. Sweet. Flows smoothly of the tongue, warms the throat and stimulates the senses. Fine, fine brew.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.
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