St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

1,055 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: 1,055 | Ratings: 2,403
Photo of granger10
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another gem from the non-Monks of Belgium. Pours a dark murky plum color with a mountainous creamy dark tan head. The head reduces though, rather quickly, to a small layer above the liquid.

Aroma is filled with dark fruits and doughy notes. Spices come out more as it warms along with some trace notes of alcohol.

Taste begins with a rich malty combination of raisins and figs. It moves to more of a rich cream like flavor the further I go along with some chocolate notes. Cinnamon, anise, and other spices hit my sense here and there. A drying sensation comes in the middle along with some very light alcohol notes. The finish is a bit sweeter with some intense dark fruits and caramel which coats the mouth.

This is another offering worthy of its praise. So complex and enjoyable. Nice rich body and so many flavors, this is a sipper for sure but the alcohol does not detract whatsoever. Highly recommended.

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Photo of medic25
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with a decent sized tan head. Pleasant aroma, very bready. Flavor is tasty; very malty, with a very faint raisiny flavor, and the slightest bit of bitterness. Quite drinkable; goes down fairly easy with little evidence of alcohol. Not my favorite offering from St. Bernardus, but a great example of the style.

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

Pours a murky brown/orange, big tan head forms and sticks all over the glass. Smell is chocolate and coffee, rich roast, fruit (cherries especially), some yeast and a little alcohol. Taste is chocolate roast, iron, some yeast, cherries, a rich maltiness and some spice. Tiny bit of alcohol as well. Mouthfeel is very smooth, highly carbonated but perfect, medium to high body. Spectacular.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring to dark brown, this beer has plenty of carbonation. The big head died down but never went away entirely, and is leaving some nice lace.

Alcohol comes through in the smell but not the taste. What the taste does reveal is plenty of malt and esters. The mouthfeel is a bit sharp for the style, while drinkability is good.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Prior 8 St Bernardus pours a a Brownish red color, a little darker than the Pater. The head is impressive and never dissipates, leaving sheets of lace behind. The aroma is malty with bread and a bit of alcohol present. The taste is of grainy malts, plums, other ripe dark fruit, licorice and even rye bread. These a definite alcohol warmth. Hops are lighter than in the Pater. The mouthfeel is thick with luxurious carbonation. The finish is long with spicey malt, dark candy sugar and warming alcohol.

An above average Dubbel, though a little less tastey than the Pater I just tried. Its not as fruity, and a little heavier in body. Still better than most Dubbels.

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Photo of Derek
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good, but not nearly as good as their 6 or 12.

I wonder if they use the second runnings from the 12, like they use to when they contract-brewed the Westvleteren.

I feel that I have been spoiled by their other dark beers.

A: Dark ruby-brown, with a little off-white head. Some retention & lacing.

S: Not as much aroma as their other brews. Sweet caramel, figs and brown sugar.

T: Only slightly on the sweet side. Caramelized sugar, raisins, slightly spicy. As it warms up, the alcohol taste becomes quite assertive. I think it's more well-rounded when it's chilled.

M: Moderate body is a little syrupy, plenty of carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've recently re-discovered these beers. I've always appreciated this brewery, but my interests changed a bit and I wasn't into Belgians as much. Had a St. Bernardus triple the other night which made me remember how good these beers really are... So I'm trying the whole line again. Let's see how the Prior 8 stacks up. Dark brown, cloudy (I poured in the sediment), and as usual for St. Bernardus, the head on this beer is outrageous, and indestructable. Another quality found in all beers by this brewery is the amazing cup-cake like smell and taste... so subtle, so fruity. Nice and malty as well, with a slick raisiny feel. A nice spicy hop background balances. A little kick of alcohol in the finish, but gentle. The mouthfeel is a pillow. So good. Don't know how they do it... Cheers, to the merry monks of Belgium.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at some liquor store across the street from the Miramar Theater on Oakland in Milwaukee.

Pours a rusty dark amber with a tall beige head and big floaty chunks of yeast. Smell is a spicy, yet muted apple cider with clove and nutmeg. Taste is a drier, more subtle version of its big brother, Abt. 12. Less sweet, more tartness and clove. Mouthfeel is champagne crisp with fine, tickling bubbles. This is an extremely drinkable dubbel, especially at 8%. I'd have to give the edge to Big Bro on this one though, it's just a richer experience.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy reddish brown colour with a tan head. There was generous foam off the pour that receded to a thin, but solid, layer of small bubbles sitting on top of the beer. A thick layer of very fine foam also remained behind on the sides of the glass. Bready and yeasty, like the others in the St. Bernardus line, and that's a good thing. There's also a bit of spice and a vinous fruit character. Mild flavour with a bit of alcohol warmth in the throat. Spicy with a rich doughy, bready malt character. Chocolatey finish as it warms. Slightly slick. Ripe fruit is balanced in there as well as a bit of raisin. Alcohol becomes a little more forward as it warms, becoming a bit of a distraction. Carbonation really contributed to the texture, providing some meat to the lightish body. Another great beer from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of acoatley
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearence: dark amber with a bright ruby where the center of the light passes through a little cloudy, I may have pored too hard.

Aroma: mmmm caramel choclate covered cherries. Maybe even chocolate bananas just a hind of alcohol.

Flavor: Light alcohol, dark fruit, malty sweetness, and a true to style dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderate warmth from th alcohol, medium body.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium to dark amber color, with a light tan head. Immediately the head began to diminish, giving way to very delicate lacing. The aroma was of yeasts and dark fruits. The first thing I could taste was dark malt and yeasts, which gave way to more subtle fruits. Although the taste was complex, it was more bitter than I like at first. The bitterness diminished as the beer came to temperature, but finished with a clean, smooth dry taste. Very decent Dubbel overall.

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Photo of ClearDog
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Medium reddish amber with a thick, fluffy, white head. The head is huge and takes a while to dissipate. Watery lacing.

Smell -- Really strong yeast. It reminds me of driving past the Red Star Yeast Plant in Milwaukee. I can also smell hints of fruit, but the yeast is far stronger.

Taste -- Subtle hints of fruit and very dry. Yeast. Just a slight touch of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light and very creamy. No carbonation.

Drinkability -- One of two will probably be enough for me. This is a nice one for a cold fall evening. It has a nice warming effect.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bottle let off a wonderful whoosh of carbonation upon opening. This was a good start. The prior 8 poured a cloudy, true brown. The lacing is perfect and lasts the entire life of the beer. Very aggressive carbonation makes this beer a real pleasure to drink.

Smell: Creamy scents of butter, bread, chicory, and hardwoods. Not particularly astonishing but decent enough.

Taste: Rich twangs of grains and dark malts pound the tounge. Somewhat nutty, light on the hops but decent enough.

Mouthfeel: As I mentioned earlier, the carbonation is just wonderful and perfectly balanced in this beer. The beer is quite sweet but the alcohol adds a necessary tang at the end followed by plenty of warming in the belly.

Drinkability: Very easy on the mind, lips, and belly. I could happily polish off a couple more little bottles like this one but will probably stick to the Strong Darks, which I prefer more then Dubbels in general.

Notes: This beer perfectly compliments a nice cheese and fruit spread.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml Bottle bought from the

Poured a dark red / orange colour... Head was creamy tan - pours quite big but disappears to leave a nice thin layer....

Aroma - Dark fruits, dark chocolate, slight aniseed, brown sugar, slight cinnamon notes...

Taste – Lots of dark fruits, nice maltiness, burnt caramel, hints of cough mixture, quite noticable alcohol...

Feel - Very sharp, quite dry in the mouth...

Overall - A excellent dubbel, although i thought there was something missing from this. The bottle i had could probably have done with ageing for a couple of years.... Certainly recommended though....

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.51/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark marron, murky, suspended particles. Head is very large, but fades relatively fast to a nice lloking solid layer on top of the beer.

Amell: Dark fruit, raisins, nice hops, doughiness.

Taste: Smooth as silk, yet a little aggresive in the alcohol and hop finish. Sweet like brown sugar, some nice yeastiness, also banana.

Mouthfeel: Very good, full and rich, no complaints here.

Drinkability: I am hoping that this is a prelude to the Abt 12, which is currently waiting in my "cellar".

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Photo of EStreet20
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +11.3%
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 +13.3%
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 +5.5%
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 +3.6%
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 +0.7%
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 +8.4%
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 +0.5%
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 +10.8%
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 -14.2%
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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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,403 ratings.
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