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

Served in a chalice at just below cellar temperature.

Appearance: Active, heady pour that tames down to a central island of head surrounded by a moat of thin bubbles. Rich, murky translucent medium prune-juice brown in color. Some light sediment in suspension. Excellent lacing!

Smell: Warm toasted malts, brown sugar and yeasty fresh-baked dark banana bread. Some sweetness from the alcohol and the hops. Very nicely rounded.

Taste/Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Buttery caramel malty goodness right up front, turning to dark raisiny fruitiness, bananas foster and swelling alcohol in the middle. Finish lingers with some hop bitterness, but mostly tasty raisiny malt and alcohol. Excellently crafted; warming and satisfying. Mouthfeel remains pleasantly creamy without foaming despite the initial activity in the pour. Nice, easy drinking belgian dubbel considering the punch it packs.

Another great offering from St. Bernardus!

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

Murky light shoe brown color, massive soapy tan head; incredible patchy lacing. Fruity aroma, plums and dark grapes, yeast and bubble gum detected as the head settles down. Creamy and pasty; the palate is rich and full, sugar, cotton candy, raisins and rum soaked nuts, should there be such a thing. An on-going and rotating offering of more flavorings, plums, cloves, and even some citrus. Belly warming affect, but not overpowering; flavorful and palate-pleasing, this is a winner. Drinkability is off the charts, dare I venture into ‘sessionable-Dubbel?’ A perfect offering for those just getting started on the Belgium side of the beer arena and a tasty treat for seasoned BA’s.

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

The appearance is a striking dark ruby color with a fairly thin creamy head. When the light strikes it from certain angles, it appears almost impenetrable and murky; from other angles it is a beautiful clear ruby color. The aroma is an intense mixture of yeast and fruit. My novice nose is not trained enough to pick out the fruits, but needless to say they are varied and intense. The aroma leads into an intense flavor delivered on the wings of a rush of carbonation. Again, I can't pick out individual flavors, but an assortment of dark fruits dominate. I do detect a blast of cherry in the middle. It finishes surprisingly dry with an acidic tartness that I imagine is the lambic trademark (haven't gotten that far yet). Overall, it's a very tasty brew. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the Abt 12, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is a wonderful beer.

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

I think St. Bernardus making some of the most classic Belgian beers on planet, and the Prior 8 is definitely no execption.

I actually drank this one with my girlfriend in the back of her car, not a bad place for a good brew.

The beer poured a deep chestnut brown with a MASSIVE head. I couldn't believe the explosion of fruit, bananas, clove, and spices that emerged. The aroma was incredible!

Then, the taste... less fruit and spice but more chocolate and nuttiness. Definitely a strong presence of dark grains, as the sharper flavors from dark malts had emerged. The hop presence was soft and muted, but enough to provide a decent balance to the beer.

The beer was medium to full-bodied, and had an expressive carbonation.

A pretty drinkable brew, but not as quaffable as a nice Belgian Pale Ale.

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

(Served in a chalice)
A-deep brown body that is pretty opaque. Smooth thick head that is tan, no carbonation visible in the glass.

S- light caramel, bread aroma with just a hint of perfume.

T- a little deeper roast that caramel maybe like a toffee with a bit of clove-like spiciness and some nice smooth alcohol warmth. Pretty dry finish with a nice hint of hops coming through at the end.

M- creamy medium body with a good carbonation on the tongue. The alcohol warmth doesn't last in the throat.

D- This is a very pleasant dubble that has good maltyness but not a complex as other dubbles I've had. It appears very simple but very elegant.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 08-07-09 so more then in time. Poors in with nice head thats very fine of cosistance and is lasting quiet well. Beercolor is deepbrown wit litle bronze tone if light falls on. Nos is very delicate. Lots of chocolate an caramel from malts that are there majorly but also good yeastspice. Taste is rich of taste also; malty, litle sweet and spicy again before going into a moderate bitterness thats clean. Creamy mouthfeel and a good cabonisation make mouthfeel to a pleasure too. Hell this is a good brew and would love to have anotherone!

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby with a frothy, well sustaining bubbly-beige head.

Smell: I can't put a finger on what it is I'm smelling, but the aroma of this beer is incredible!! Some sweet and bready malt notes, combined with a nice alcohol presence:

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a rich dark bread flavor initially, followed by a smooth, well-rounded alcohol taste that finishes juicy and full of flavor. The sweet notes are the most accented, and are apporiate for a Dubbel. The mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Another classic beer from St. Bernardus. A rich, full Dubbel that is full of complexity. The drinkability is brought down by the incredibly spicy alcohol presence that is left in the throat and belly. This is definitly one to try.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark amber with ruby tones on the edges. Nice healthy head of light tan that leaves heavy lacing as it falls.

Smells of yeast, bread made with nuts, bannanas and cloves. There's a certain hoppiness to the nose as well.

Tastes much like it smells with the hops and yeast noticable throughout. Excellent mouthfeel on this one.

Very drinkable. This is the third beer I have sampled from this brewery and each one has been stellar. Can't wait to try some of the other offering from St. Bernardus.

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

A pouring of this beer produces an off-white head about one finger thick. This head goes down to form a nice layer of foam on top of the opaque garnet beer. Smell is a mixture of cranberry nut bread with strong hints of chocolate. The taste followed the same with a light cherry and cocoa palate. Mouthfeel is dry. I felt there was a bit much carbonation. A good beer and one I'd drink again.

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Photo of dauss
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: very beautiful belgian style silk screened 750ml. Lots of information like alcohol, storing temp, serving temp, story about the brewery, and the best before date stamped on the top. Says it can be stored for up to 10 years, serve between 50F-54F, store at 50F-54F

Appearance: ruby amber, clear with some yeast chunks floating. large tan head, excellent retention.

Nose: yeasty nuttiness, slight grainy bready malt, plums, slightly metallic and soapy with alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, carmalized sugars, very light phenol, medium hop bitterness. Astringent but sweet and smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: good body, a little on the bland side.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet rich malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy flavor that boasts of roasted and Belgian crystal malts. It goes down easy and finishes dry and fruity with a warming aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an excellent Abbey ale. It has great flavor and aroma; a fine sessions beer.

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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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