St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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1,041 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: 1,041 | Ratings: 2,363
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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Photo of JackStraw22
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber body. A good amount of yeasties floating around. Great big cream colored head that stuck around.

Smell: Alcohol hits the nose, though it's warm, not solventy. Lots of raisin aroma, some orange too. Nice smell, but pretty average.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Huge hit of malt! After the initial malt jolt, a nice balanced sweet taste lingers. Can't really taste the alcohol, it's well hidden. Very slight bitterness, just a tease, and it seems to work. Full bodied, though slightly overcarbonated for my taste. It's a nice taste, but a little too dominated by the sweetness.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice from an 11.2 oz bottle with a 01/01/07 consumption date on the bottle. Pouts a dark murky red with a solid cap of off-white head and a small amount of lace. Smell is bananas, cherries, bready malts, and some spices--very sweet and appealing. Taste is wonderful--everything on the nose comes through, in addition to some plums, raisins, butter, nuts, and cloves---all beautifully blended together in malty goodness. Body is medium/full with low carbonation and a creamy smooth mouthfeel. This is another delicious beer from St. Bernardus, and the only reason I can't drink these every day is the alcohol content.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Drank from an 11.2 oz bottle, poured into Watou brewery chalice. Bottle has a drawing of a balding monk with a very good beer in his hand.

Appearance: A dark orange color with reddish brown hues. The head is thick and lasting, and clings to the bottle (I hear this is a good thing).

Smell: Smells like freshly baked bread, very malty. Probably the yeast is responsible for the majority of the aroma. Very very good yeast.

Taste: This is the stuff. The beer feels perfect as you drink it (thick, coats the tongue, and flavors are lasting) I can taste fruits such as plums and grapes, along with "bready" malt flavor. Tastes best (in my opinion) when it's just below room temp.

Notes: When I first tried this beer 6 months ago, I felt it was the best beer ever. I've since tried many bottles of Prior 8, and found them to be kind of inconsistent. I brought it to a poker game in a 750 ml bottle, and was disappointed (I tell my friends it was a bad bottle, but...). I still rank this as one of my favorites, but somewhere south of the Abt 12 from the same brewery. I hear the recipe is identical to Westvleteren Extra 8. I will try this someday, it is my quest.

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

750ml bottle poured into a chalice glass. Pours out a reddish-brown color crowned with a solid white head. Highly fruity aroma with a fair amount of yeastiness. Flavor is good mix of more fruit along with some clovey phenols, a moderate hop bitterness, grassy and earthy, and sweet, bread-like malt. Finish is somewhat tart with a peppery alcohol note. Lots of carbonation makes for a lively mouthfeel.

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

Dollops into the glass with a cloudy seal color topped by a 3-inch thick cap of tan and rocky foam. Large, dark matter settles to the bottom.

Scent is bready and malty, tinged with mild fruit and woody spice. All together, mouthwatering.

Sweet malt and tart plum together with a very mild hop presence and a sweet, clean finish. Let it roll around in there and you'll appreciate the woody, grainy character beneath a blanket of sweet, dark fruit.

Smooth, nearly creamy and full in the mouth.

Quality brew here. Would be great with a meal, but is wonderful on its own. I wondered about the age of this bottle, but I couldn't find any dates on it. So I'm left to wonder if it ages well or I found a fairly fresh bottle. Still, try some.

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

25.4 oz. bottle, corked and caged. I don't know where I got this but it sure wasn't Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured a very deep amber-brown color. Where the light made it through at the bottom of the chalice, the brew appeared really murky. The head rose up to about one finger with a very careful pour. It was extremely dense, thick and rich and it never went away. I couldn't see any bubbles in the beer since it was so dark, but I can only assume that a very heavy bead was feeding the creamy foam from below. Very thick sheets of dense lace were left behind.

Smell: Light cherries and cocoa blended well with a strong hit of yeast. Bananas and cloves lingered in the background. Hints of spicy alcohol, vanilla, and cinnamon came through at times. The aroma had an overall edge to it, but there was also a softness to it that took away some of the bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a heavy carbonation that gave the beer a velvety feel.

Taste: The flavor was a replica of the aroma. Cocoa, bananas, and cloves were soft upfront. Then, a very light cherry flavor rose up with a decent amount of yeast to give the flavor a little kick. Not a ton of complexity, but very nice overall.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Off-white head fades, leaving remnants around the glass. The color of the beer resembles Coca-cola.
The nose is clean and a bit bready. Faint hints of spice.
The palate is much bigger than the bouquet suggests. It is delicious and mouthfilling, with plenty of brown sugar and spice. Notes of banana, butter and cloves add interest. The finish is dignified, if not terribly long. Very nicely balanced.

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Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very good – easy pour produced a clear amber brown vessel with a ivory tan head. Aroma was rich with dough, fruit and malts, which also came through in the tastes – along with lite spices, cinnamon. That little butter pop in the finish ends the quaff nicely. Perfect full bodied and lightly carbonated to boot. I could sip this one all night long.

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

Pours a deep murky brown with a awesome big fluffy head that settles into a nice creamy top leaving sheets of lace behind,brown sugar and orange marmalade dominate the aromas with some underlying sweet biscuit dough.The taste is much drier than expected,some clovey spicinessis very prevelant along with some unsweetened chocolate along with some toffee finishing pretty rather dry and abrupt.A very nice dubbel complex and not overly sweet a very good beer one to savor.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A different bottle that looks like all the others with an orange background. Pours a dark, dark brown with a small head. Smell is very pleasant like a red wine with a pinch of alcohol. Candied fruits are also apparent and a hint of apricot. The taste is wonderful. Starts with the fruits and sweet malts, then finishes with what seems to be just a deluge of natural sugar. Really delicious beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

delaney's new haven, 4/17/05

appearance: brown and dark with red highlights, patchy belgian head with wisps and beautiful marbled lacing in a red wine glass.

aroma: sweet candi sugar and malts. perfect belgian aroma, excluding the somewhat metallic and off-type scents a bottle can breed. wonderful and subtle scent.

taste: intense bitter malt with a sweet finish. lots going on here. fruits, of the darker raisiny variety, are well-obscured in the background. trappist perfection. room temp and a lack of substantial carbonation are soothing and add the slickest, pristine character to this fine brew. one that should be sampled on tap above the 12.

might i also add that i had this recently at eli's and it wasn't quite as good. as the bartender at delaney's observed, clean lines can make a dark belgian...

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

St. Bernardus Prior 8: 750mL

Damn straight expectations are high. Big rocky head on an easy deep burgundy-brown pour looks like it might hang around a while…nice of it to come along for the ride. Nose is malty, yeasty, and fruity…grapes and a touch of plum. Taste is beautimus…the creamy mouthfeel lets the malty semi-nutty sweetness linger on the palate long after the subtle spice gently bites the throat on the way down. Very nice dubbel…puts me in the mind of Allagash Dubbel Reserve, but with a bigger body and a little more brash. It seems to me that this is what a dubbel is all about. Big and malty, but restrained, elegant, and incessantly drinkable…8% be damned.


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Photo of AlexJ
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Next in line in our St. Bernardus tasting is the Prior 8, a murkier and more mysterious looking brew than the 6. It unleashes an equally impressive dome of fluffy beige head, lacing beautifully as it goes.

Dark fruit preserves and caramel malts greet my nose. Spicey yeast and rum-soaked fruitcake with a red grape mustiness. Theres a balancing level of flowery hop spice to round it out.

Initially chewy caramel sweet with chocolate-covered raisins, spice cake, and soft leather tannins. Dark candy, brown sugar, and dates. It has a decidely more dubbelish character than the 6 me thinks. Hops are less pronounced and there is more dark, sticky fruit and creamy malt.

Body is medium, silky smooth with easy-going medium carbonation. Fluffy and chewy at the same time. Excellent, now on to the triple!

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Photo of horndecker
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in the 33cl bottle.
It's a murky plum brown, and a great tan head rises up, gets all clumpy and leaves nice lace.
The smell is citrus, raisins, candy and caramel. A bit of butterscotch ocassionally. Each one takes a turn, a nice balance.
Flavors of sweet malt, earthy yeast, cocoa. The finish is bittersweet and dark, the bitter chocolate lingers afterwards.
Full bodied creamy mouthfeel with a decent swell of carbonation. The alcohol is present but well placed.
A nice dubbel, ocassionally too simply sweet, but with enough dark character to make it interesting.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,363 ratings.
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