St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

1,048 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: 1,048 | Ratings: 2,383
Photo of Thrasher
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's been a long time since I had an authentic Belgian ale, and even longer since I reviewed one. This is a very pleasing one that has tons of delicious flavor but not quite as much complexity as I was anticipating. It is a very dark sepia color with flashes of orange at the edges. The head isn't super-charged, but ample and permanent. Not really any lacing. Small grains of sediment, or perhaps they are sunken bubbles, rest on the slope of the glass. The nose is vibrant, toffeeish and fruity. The flavor is primarily sweet, with lots of lush graininess and peppery spice. A lactic funk provokes thoughts of fine farmhouse cheese, and a note of numbing alcohol marries perfectly with the brew. Mouthfeel soft and yielding, velvelty smooth on the tongue. Despite its darkness and robust character, the beer manages to be refreshing. The light cleansing grass twinge at the end makes this a particularly drinkable beer. My oh my, this is delicious, and it's aching to be accompanied by food, either a robust but milky cheese, or a lightly tangy dark meat. To be bought and enjoyed by me again, in the very near future, I hope!

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Photo of ZAP
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a muddy brown color...whisp of a head....nice sweet dark fruit nose....I'm thinking rum soaked black cherries and sugar glazed plums...also a poppyseed muffin aroma...the carbonation is punched up quite a bit and that provides a zesty mouthfeel...medium bodied...richly sweet but the carbonation cuts into it some.taste is big on the dark fruits...almost a hint of doppelbock like sweetness...

This might be a little too sweet for some but I love it....dubbels are one of my least favorite belgian styles but this might be the best I've had...I'd gladly drink these all winter long...

My scores 5.0 scores all teeter between 5.o and 4.5....being this is one of the best dubbels I've had I rounded up...

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Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a goblet a nice cherry color, with quite a nice head. Smells very malty, with a hint of cherry. Taste is quite the same, highly malty, with dark fruits and cherry coming through. This actually tastes a bit like cough syrup (I mean that in a good way!), including the mouthfeel.

Contrary to others, I happen to like this one more than Pater 6. Very tasty stuff here.

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

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle which I aged for about 18 months.
Aroma: Mild aroma on a cold pour, but I get soft Belgian yeast note, some light floral wafts, and a dried dark fruit (black cherry) smell.
Appearance: Formed a concave head as it gripped the sides of my Chimay goblet, collapsed a bit in a ring, and built back up in the center with a strong carbonation stream. Glass is deep brown and opaque. I can tell at the pour it is going to leave dramatic lace (and it does).
Flavor: Somewhat like it’s older brother the Abt 12, but not as intense. Dark fruit (black grapes), powered bubblegum, yeast, and a hit of hops at the finish. Well rounded.
Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation, dry finish, no oils and slight mouth numbing.
Overall Impression: An enjoyable treat. Flavor is complete with all tastes melding nicely. Mouthfeel is nice and dry, lively but not fizzy. Looks nice and dark with substantial lace. Drinkability is pretty good. I’m enjoying this one and will buy others. Hard to find any faults, but it’s also not the pinnacle of sublime joy. A very solid dubbel.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Trappist poured a medium dark brown, with a medium amount of tan foam and some lace. The smell of hops and fruit was evident in the aroma. The taste was of a fruity nature, with hop's to finish it out. The finish ad a sour, bitterness feel in the mouth and palate. This ale would have had more intense flavor if it wern't for the over tartness and sour after taste that I found.

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Photo of carln26
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This came from the tap in a chalice at Anam Cara. It was a deep chocolate brown with a thick rich tan colored head. I mean a huge gushing head that settled after 5 minutes into the beer. The lace turned into a thick clingy lace on the rim. The nose is sweet malty figgy sugar. Hints of candy and dates. The taste is more candy and figs. Just a slight hint of flowery hops. Thick mouth feel, and a medium drinkability. I think the dubbel style is my favorite Belgian, and this beer is close to the top.

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

Ruby brown is color with a thick tan head. The aroma is malty, sweet candi sugars, spicy yeastiness, with a dark fruity, breadiness. The flavor is yeasty, and malty. It has a raison and date-like flavor, with some rum like qualities. It has a soft bready flavor as well. It is very light and fluffy in the texture and rather smooth drinking. I am a big fan of the dubbels, and this is no exception. A very well done beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep dark cherrywood with a tall sturdy crown that starts as foam but resonates down to healthy head of a 8th inch bubbly/frothy whipped light tan topping. Leaves tons of lacing coating the glass.

Aroma is dry of light earthyness along with some yeasty esters of flowers and light spice.with a strong fruity sense of figs, raisins, and dark cherries keeping a lush and full sweet edge over the top.

Flavors ensue a pleasurable display of fruits displayed from the aroma with dry little spices. Firm, steardy, and steady with a full taste brigade from start to finish. Sweet and chewy finish late with bits of candied fruits and a light textured nuttyness. A great taster.

Feel is creamy and nearly full with some light drying effects floating around and finishes terrific with a super yummy and smooth exhibition of chewy fruits and earthly delights. Another fine drinker by St. Bernardnus - which I've mentioned in other reviews of their first-class brews is that the drinkability is amazingly easy to handle. All that I've imbibed by these jolly monks has been top notch good stuff! Recommended to try any and all by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV.

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smoooth dubbel that is too easy to drink! It poured a light brown opaque with a slight tan head with bubbles so small they were hard to distinguish as bubbles.

The smell was like rumraisin coffee cake and made my mouth water. Sweet caramel and yeast rounded out the smell.

Wow...for 8% alcohol, it's smooth and mellow and oh-so drinkable. Slightly metallic at first, the raisin and plums soon gave way to a sweet yet slightly tart whisper of natural hops. The taste made a slow exit and left no bitterness at all. The alcohol was well hidden in this brew and only noticed when I felt the slight burn well after I had swallowed.

As I said in my opening statement, this is a very smooth, drinkable dubbel. I'm ready to curl up with another and let this beer do it's magic.

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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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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,383 ratings.
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