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St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

1,039 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: 1,039 | Ratings: 2,350
Photo of PorterLambic
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the 750 ml bottle (corked) a coppery brown with a huge, tight, firm head 1 1/2 - 2". Head drops slowly & evenly, leaving good lace.
Smell is malty, fruity (raisins, cherries, apples), spice and light hops. Sweet with an acidic note.
Taste more of the same, malty, fruity, light hoppiness, spice, alcohol late. A tangy note detected. A nice complexity.
Mouthfeel is smooth, very smooth, medium/full bodied, effervescent on the tip of the tongue.
Drinkability is quite high, finished the whole 750ml myself in about an hour from the uncorking. Flavor broadened somewhat as it warmed with no bitterness or off-putting characteristics at all. A wonderful example of the Belgian art, though I prefer the 10 & 12 more.

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Photo of mntlover
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A brown brew with a off-white head nice and full leaves a light coating of lace. Aroma is dark fruity grapes, figs light hints of banana bread coming thru. Taste is alive rolls smoothly over the tounge imparting sweet fig like flavors as it goes leaving a longing sweetness of malt followed by a spicey and lightly hoppy dry finish alcohol not really present but warms the throat and tummy. This beer is good, will be great this winter it is the first Dubble I have enjoyed, was starting to wonder about this style but this one has restored my faith, did I mention it was kickass. Mouthfeel is full not really heavy I would say about as perfect as you could get for this beer. Drinkability is great hard to sip this one just wanting to down it can I have another please?

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, dark auburn with a dense frothy tan head. Lots of fine lace. Smells spicy, like spiced apples. Sweet rich malt.

Taste is fruity and yeasty. Spicy. the spiced apple flavor is there again. Winey tasting (vinuous, I guess?). Let's break the fruitiness down: apples, cherries, plum and sour berry. A light alcohol burn and a lightly metallic finish. Full-bodied but velvet smooth. Exceptionally easy to drink for the style. A really excellent beer and I am not a big fan of dubbels. Bravo!

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle design. It looks like the monk is saying, "Don't drink too many!" I feel honored to have the St. B glass for this beer. Pours out a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't seem to really last. I expected a much bigger head than this. The smell is mostly sweet but hints of something sour come through as well. Caramel and chocolate are present.

I am thinking this is a fresh bottle as I see a 2004 date on the label. Well, if I was at all "disappointed" with the appearance the taste makes up for it. Sweet caramel mix with the perfect amount of bitterness. Complex and smooth, just perfect. One of the best dubbels that I have ever had.

I would love to try this beer along side the real trappists to see which I like better.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper hue, medium off-white head consisting of big bubbles, mostly diminishing. Big yeasty (dough, light must) and vinous aroma with several fruity hints (banana, plums, grapes) matching a generous toffee and alcohol presence. RIchly malty. Sweet on the tongue, with scotch ale characteristics, but a very yeasty one. Mild acidic profile. More alcohol than most in the finish. Not so balanced imo, leaves an oily coat around the mouth. Slight yeasty and leafy bitterness. Medium body is extremely bubbly, a bit too much for its own good.

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Photo of fdrich29
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle. The label explains when you should drink this beer by in four different languages, none of which are English. Going on my 10th grade Spanish and some common sense it appears to say drink before the end of 2004.

Pours a deep caramel with a lovely, considerable head. Smells distinctly Belgian (duh). Sweet bready smell, alcohol, some fruit, citrus on the nose. Nice malt flavor, bread, sweetness, some citrus. I was hooked at the first sip, great tasting brew. Satin smooth in the mouth and easily drinkable. I will be looking for this again the next time I make a Belgian brew trek to Marty's in Newton, Mass.

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Photo of tjd25
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very soft and silky head, very beautiful and lasting on an intense dark brown color. The smell shows sweet notes of raspberries and grapefruit. Some wooden notes of cinammon (maybe). The first sip is so delightful: chocolate-like and winy with a fruity complexity. Great mouthfeel, creamy, soft and smooth. Then, a sweet seltzer like aspect appears, and the hops reveal a dry and citric character. Maybe the alcohol could be a bit less noticeable. A good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Definately a nice looking brew. Bright mahogony red color with energetic carbonation and a decent medium sized bubbles head. Leaves an ample lacing.

Very nice nose. I get mostly sweet breadyness (not brains!). Maybe a touch of floral something or other and some mellow esters, but mainly sweet breadyness.

Very nice flavor!! very excited about this one. About as smooth as you can get!! Nice caramel flavors and the breadyness that was so dominant in the nose. Finishes with just a hint of hop bitterness and alcohol warming. Wow! What a beer. I also get some mellow tea flavors, but nothing stands out, no harshness whatsoever! Really tasty.

Exceptional mouthfeel. Really right on. Not too thin, not too thick, just right.

Pretty drinkable, but honestly a little cloying. Kind of gumming up my mouth actually. But I would still do a couple in a sitting if I had them.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stuff poured alot darker than I thought it would have. A dark copper, caramel like colour. Monster sandy off-white head with real sticky lacing. The smell is very sweet and spicy as is expected from this style. A little raisin like. The taste was really impressive. I thought so, anyway. A lot of candied fruit, brown sugar, cloves and other spice. Very tasty. It did, however, have a little bit more carbonation to it than I expected. This doesn't ruin it for me, but it does prevent me from giving mouth feel a 4.5. Overall, I was quite impressed with this one, and I feel they do a nice job of concealing the 8.0%abv. This stuff doesn't even have the warming sensation many others have. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.03/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a caramel colour with a super huge frothy head. Way too much carbonation. Yeasties floating around. Just hanging out. Drinking this particular beer is a lot like biting into a chunk of bread. There isn't much else to say about it. It's just not my thing. That's okay, though. I'm aging one. we'll see how it does with 10 years on it.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rusty golden with a small head (1/2 inch)... big bubbles that dissipate quickly and leaves very little film that slides down the sides of my goblet and disappear.

Color is a dark reddish brown mahogany. Smells of ... wood stain...? A peppery burnt fig and oak smell. Also hints of raisins, cinnamon and apricot.

The taste is complex and took me a while to separate each flavor for my notes. I had to let it warm a little before the flavor really came through. It is both sweet and chewy with a fruity acidic flavor of bananas and cloves and a smoky plum (hoisin??) salty afterbite. A delicate brew that would warm me up on a cold Colorado fall night... Good Stuff.

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

Pours cloudy brown in color with a huge light brown head that sticks to the sides of my glass. Fruity sweet and spicy aromas, sugary plum and raisin flavors, medium bodied with a crisp almost soda like mouthfeel, finishes with a brown sugar sweetness.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle with a smiling belgian monk on the front. Aroma was strong in alcohol and fruity esters. For some reason there were dark flakes on top od the head which was very thick and refused to die down. This ale poured a dark murky brown which swallowed any light which tried to pass through. The taste was remarkable in that it was rich in dark sweet malt flavors and some dark fruit flavors as well. The mouthfeel has that Belgian qualitiy in that it is effervescent but not rough on the tongue. The carbonation seems like champagne but the body of the ale lets you know malt is involved.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jul 9th, 2004: Pours a lightly cloudy brown color with a light tan head. Thin lacing. The aroma is an interesting concoction of malt, raisin and caramel. Medium-bodied with a great Belgian feel from the get-go. Flavors of spice (cinnamon and coriander), yeast, warming alcohol and caramel. The finish is nicely complex with lots of spice and malt. I am a fan of the 12 and this beer is no slouch either.

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Photo of noclue
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Served in chalice.

Appearance: Reddish brown color. Very active carbonation. Tall rocky tan head with brilliant full lacing. Excellent head retention. Beautiful!

Smell: Bread, fruity, solvent. I can't wait for what's in store!

Taste: Sweet, fruity. Plums, spicy. Molasses. Dark malts, light on the hops. Superbly balanced!

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth finish.

Drinkability/Overall: I could drink this exceptional brew all day without a complaint. I think i'm in love!

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Photo of woemad
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $4.16.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, with a large, off-white head. Lots of lace sheets dripping down the sides of the glass.

Smell is very complex: Fruity, sweet, bitter, all seemingly in equal measure.

Taste is as rich and complex as the aroma. Sweet, caramel flavors vie with bitter chocolate and fruity bananna bread, wrapped in a spicy cloak.

Mouthfeel is creamy, and moderately full-bodied (if that makes any sense), without seeming too big.

This is very drinkable. A very tasty dubbel. It goes down easily enough that one forgets the high abv. For that reason, it would probably not be a great session beer. It makes a great dessert beer, however.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The quality of the beer is immediately apparent in the reddish brown insanely carbonated body, and the towering tan head. The aroma is complex, with chocolate, honey, and musk on the nose. The taste has a warm and spicy alcohol bite, with a banana nut bread taste, and some dusty yeast lurking in the back. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit on the light side. This is technically a Dubbel, but comes in Tripel strength of 8% ABV. A welcome newcomer to Georgia shelves.

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a beautiful dark brown with a thick frothy head on top. Smell is typically tasty Belgian: plenty of malts, some raisins, even a hint of yeast.

The malt from the scent is there in spades in the flavour as well as a nice, soft chocolatey effect, some sugary sweetness, and a tang of bitter along with a noitceable alcohol warming at the very end.

Mouthfeel is good, the right consistency for a Belgian, medium - thick with some carbonation while the drinkability is also good, as expected.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a quite opaque brown beer with a great head with good retention. Aroma is bit weaker then expected with some roasted malts and some light plums. Taste is also a mix between roasted malts, a bit of candi sugar and some light plums. Overall, this is a good beer lacking a bit of complexity and overshadowed by better products from this brewery.

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the initial skunky whiff of fish out of the bottle, I was somewhat disapointed. I appreciate the sample from Malto on my wish list. Complex carbonated taste includes orange and other fruit and yeastiness. Dark reddish colour.

Another bottle 2.5 years later and spicy herbalness at room temperature, no fishy smell.

5 years later, and licorice and molasses.

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Photo of taez555
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a huge tan head with a matte black/dark brown body.

The nose was a mix of yeast, alcohol, dark malt, raisins, soft chocolate and earth.

The taste was a good deal along the same lines. Medium bodied and very smooth. A very light carbonation with a matured taste. An overall sugary sweetness, with some brown sugar, slight roasted malt, wheat, yeast, chocolate, soft mellowed dark malt, phenols, and even some soft juice flavors. There’s a light bitterness with a soft subtle earth taste. It ends smooth with a soft bitterness.

A very simple and tasty belgian dubbel. Maybe not as complex as some of the more in your face versions, but very drinkable and extremely tasty.

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Photo of oggg
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a red wine glass 5/04

This beer pours a cloudy brown color. The head cannot be coaxed and quickly fades to spotty lace over the beer.

Aroma is intensely chocolatey with a wine like smell.

The initial taste is smooth and intensely malty with dark fruit and sugar. It comes to a dry finish.

Full bodied. High alcohol is noticeable

Every Dubbel makes me like the style more and more.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Visually the Prior 8 is very cola-like, but extremely agitated with very fine carbonation. It forms a tall ivory colored head with impressive retention. It has a highly freaky aroma. How shall we describe this smell? Is it like leather or a woman’s auburn hair? Or streetlight on cobblestone or a shoe full of raisins? Is it wet peat moss or the smell of a hunting knife or crushed eggshell? Actually, the eggshell association makes me think of limestone. Could it be that this brew has an alkaline balance? Don’t know. Don’t care, actually.

The taste is fabulously complex. It is a canvass of impressionistic brushstrokes alluding to cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, and twisted licorice. An electronic circus of inspired spice as seen through a window in wall-to-wall lace.

That settles it. I’m getting a brown robe and a dumb haircut.

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

750ml bottle, which uncorked with great enthusiasm on untwisting the wire cage, with utterly no assistance, spilling ale everywhere..
Dark mahogany brown color, full, fervent foam, a bit beigey in color, slowly simmering down.

Aroma, spice, nuts, fruit, faint cocoa, more spice, cinnamon, clove, very carbonated, very enticing, uplifting, arousing, even...a lovely snootful, me likey.

Very lively, zesty taste, the mouth swims with this pruney, raisiny, vibrant flavor...I'm liking it more as it nestles in the crevices of my tastebuds.
Bursts afresh on the tongue again and again. Full-bodied, long, warm, lovely finish.

Goodness aplenty in this bottle. A keeper if ever there was.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a walnut brown with a medium sized dense creamy beige head.
Smells of sweet malt, red berries, banana and spice. Almost a bubblegum aroma. Lemony yeast presence at the end.
Tastes of bready malt, overripe fruit and baking spices. Finishes with a brown sugar sweetness, tangy yeast, a bit of hops and a brandy nuance. Had an earthy aftertaste.
Full bodied with a rich, creamy mouthfeel and tongue tingling carbonation.
Quite the rich complex offering. Almost a bit cloying and definitly a belly warmer. Good dessert beer.

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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,039 ratings.
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