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 GooberMcNutly
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 bottle. Pours a thick, dark rust color with big large-bubble head that lasted until the last sip. Amazingly complex but subtle aromas of raisins, orange and almonds. Palate was complex with high maltiness but low overall sweetness. Sourness was milder than many abby ales. High yeast content but it stayed in the bottom well and I could pour all but about an ounce. No hint of the alcohol flavor (until I tried to stand up...). Left me wanting another.

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Photo of jackndan
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

St. Bernadus Prior 8: A creamy tan head sits on top of a murky brown beer that light cannot penetrate. Fairly strong aroma, smells of raisons and other dried fruits. Although I’ve not had great luck with brown beers from Belgium, but this beer tastes very good. Its got nice malt characteristics that add a nice sweetness that tends to supplement the yeast flavors that are so characteristic of this style of beer. The dominant tastes are the dried fruits noted above. The body is light, but this beer is somewhat carbonated. Very nice.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Long time since I drank something from this brewery.

Very dark brown, with a very pale creamwhite head. Nice contrast. The head is very thin, but the lacing is ok.

Smell malty, with dark fruits, a little bit of roasted grains, nuts and coffee.
Taste is very bittersweet.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

This beer is ok drinkable.
It's not much above average dubbel beer though, I'm disappointed to say.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: mahogany brown, a huge layer of tan foam builds up and slowly compresses to a thin persistent cap, almost opaque

Aroma: malty sweet, cloves, cinnamon, raisins, alcohol, pear fruitiness; very inviting

Flavor: a subdued malt sweetness balanced with a mild hop bitterness, some cloviness and a bit of yeasty overtone, raisins, less complex than it smells, finish is semi-dry w/ a slight bitterness and spice in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, club-soda carbonation, alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: A nice bruin from a great brewery. Abt 12 is obviously the shining star, so it's easy to overlook their other beers which are also quite good. Just look at how many reviews there are for the 12 as opposed to this one!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB 20/07/16

Beer is a dark chestnut brown with a fairly small and fizzy tan head that dissipates very quickly. No lacing.

Smell consists of bready malt and some dark fruit, like fig.

Taste is mildly sweet. Bready malt, some fruit flavours such as banana and fig and prune. A bit similar to banana bread, save for the fig and prune elements. A bit of booze is detectable, but not much.

Highly carbonated and medium bodied. Carbonation is too much and the beer is too light- really interferes with the flavour. A bit of a syrupy feel.

Overall, a real disappointment. Not sure if this is an off bottle or just a really young bottle. but I expected much more. I am a big fan of the other St. Bernadus beers I have had (12, 6, Tripel and Wit), so I am surprised by this. Will definitely try it again to see if I have a different reaction next time.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before end 11 08 14 indicated on the back label. Opened this bottle to let it warm and breathe before pouring - unbeknownst to me, it was slowly foaming out of the bottle, leaving a puddle in it's wake (luckily it didn't hit the carpet). Pours a deep, reddish-brown with a foamy two inch, cream-colored head. Clarity is a bit murky and there are tiny yeast particles evident in solution. Nose is earthy and vinous with dark fruits (prunes/figs/raisins) rounding out the middle and the back. There's also a dull spicy/herbal/minty quality in the mix, but it is difficult to nail down the precise character. Taste follows nose - pretty much the same character, with the residual earthy/herbal/yeasty quality lingering between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with an even and pleasant background carbonation and a semi-dry feel. A very solid dubbel with very good complexity, but not something I would drink a lot of in one sitting or with any frequency.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet.

a - Pours a mahogany, nut brown color with a little over one finger of white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of bready malts, yeast, and maybe some raisins and plums, or other darker fruits.

t - Tastes of bready malts, yeast, some spice.

m - Medium body and hight carbonation.

d - A pretty solid dubbel. I thought it smelled a little better than it tasted, but good and worth a try none the less. Not as good as Abt 12, but something I would try again.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmmm, expected a little more from this one. Pours a slightly murky mahogony color with a half inch head that fades to a few islands of foam. No much lacing at all. Kind of bland aroma, but there is some spice, dried fruit, leather, prunes. A few things going on in the flavor but nothing melds all too well. Complex malt profile, spicy fruity yeast esters, and a combo of some hoppyness and hotness on the back end. Not too sweat. Full mouthfeel and a little slick. Again a little hot on the backend. I like the beer, not sure I would seek it out again real soon though.

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

11.2oz bottle, served in the proper St. Bernardus chalice!

A - pours with about a quarter inch of loose and bubbly light tan colored foam...specks of yeast mixed throughout. the beer is very cloudy, a murky dark copper/amber with some floating yeast ghosts. the foam settled to a thin layer, which leaves no lacing behind.

S - starts off with some classic Belgian yeast, light caramel, bread dough, lemon rind...not getting a whole lot.

T - very doughy and bready...yeast kicks in along with a small bit of spice. some fruits come into play, banana and earthy apples. the hops here seem to have faded a bit and taken the form of wet paper...finishes with a moderate alcohol presence.

M - very active and bubbly carbonation comes alive as the beer enters your mouth. a little light in the body and leaves the mouth feeling prickly and dry.

D - a decent Dubbel at best...just missing a littler personality in the smell and taste, and it had kind of an unpleasant hop bite to it. it is quite refreshing but the alcohol presence tells ou to slow down.

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Photo of drcarver
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A muddy brown color and clarity with an off white head. The head is small and slightly lacy

S - The malt aromas are strong with some nut and fruit

T - Very malt and sweet. A strong alcohol flavor. There is hints of nuts (almond?) and fruit with a bit of sweat.

M - Thick and dry

D - It's a sipper.

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

I had the Pater 6 just recently and found it very enjoyable. This one is a bit higher in alcohol. Here is my review:

A: Pours a murky brown with a nice tan head. It leaves nice lacing on the glass. There is also a lot of sediment floating around in the beer.

S: Lots of spice and fruit on the nose. Maybe some cinnamon apple. Malt isn't as prominent as the Pater 6. Smells pretty good.

T: Lots more spice and fruit than the Pater 6. Less on the toffee and caramel notes. I get grape, plum and apple notes. Then the heavy spice character takes over in the finish. Malt comes through, but feel it could have had a stronger presence. I think I liked Pater 6 better.

M: Medium bodied and creamy. Somewhat fizzy. Good overall.

D: This one drinks pretty easily. Good flavor and mouthfeel, but I would take their White Beer or Pater 6 over this one.

So far, I would say that I am pretty impressed with the St. Bernardus beers. I still need to try their Tripel and Quad, but this one is probably my least favorite of the ones I have had. Pretty enjoyable brew for someone who doesn't like Belgian ales all that much. Recommended.

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

33 cL bottle poured in a chalice.

Appearance: This dubbel is an exceedingly dark brown with a decent white head, though perhaps not as much as some other reviewers experienced. Perhaps I just lent a bit too gentle of a pour.

Smell: Not particulary pungeant, hops are apparent but not pervasive.

Taste: Crisp, moderate hops. The alcohol taste isn't overpowering and has a nice finish. The flavor is enjoyable though not particularly complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. I would have liked a bit more carbonation, but perhaps I just got an flatter bottle.

Overall, I enjoyed this brew. It came in a four-pack sampler from St. Bernardus and we'll see how it compares to its abbey brethren.

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Photo of kegger22
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium brown with a generous head that displayed good retention. The aroma was a musty smell to me. The taste was the sour/sweet of dark cherries. The feed was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was OK, no problems with 750 ml bottle.

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

11.2 oz bottle 04 08 11 printed on the back label.
The color is of a ruby brown. Lots of lacing in on the sides of my Brigand Chalice.
I can smell some yeast, plums, light booze, and some sweet floral aromas.
Tastes are sweet dark fruits, (tropical fruits maybe?), mild cloves in the background, carmel malts, and pears. The first initial sip, there was a slight metallic taste on the sides of my tongue. It seemed to disappear as this beer warmed.
The mouth feel is wonderful. Very creamy and carbonated. Clean finish with a slight tart apple aftertaste.
The drink ability I found was easy. The 8% alcohol was hidden enough to make this serving go down kind of quick. I'm glad I tried it. I enjoyed this brew but I liked the Abt 12 much more. The 12 I thought was more exciting and had more flavors going on.

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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 DoubleJ
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle poured into a chalice, on to the beer:

Pours caramel/orange. this beer is ruby brown when sitting in my chalice, the head soapy yet holding up. Lots of sediment floating in the body. Big notes of green apple/cider, some plum, bit of grain, and dark fruits. This beer is medium bodied with a pinch of alcohol. Chalky tasting at first, out comes a bit of unsweetened cocoa. Dried dates and squaw bread round off the taste.

The flavors are too mild and powdery compared to other Belgian dubbels in the land. Worth a taste.

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Photo of diomz88
3.67/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

aroma: nutty, bread, caramel with belgian yeast. maybe some raisin and vanilla. appearance: red brown in color, hazy to clear, tan head taste: medium sweetness, light bitter, with raisins and figs but lightly palate: med to full bodied, average carbonation, good finish. drinkable beer, but more of a sipper.

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Photo of BeerLover729
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Small one finger head tops this dark brown beverage.

S: The nose is full of dark fruit esters along with some bruised banana and a peppery finish.

T: A slight roastyness is detectable among the sea of caramel malty flavors that swish around in this bottle. There is a light but sharp astringent crispness in the finish.

M: Light medium body with a medium to sharp carbonation and a light syrupy consistency.

D: Relatively slow sipping beer with a mild cloyingness in the finish.

Notes: Decent dubbel.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass at ~50 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep red-brown like burnished mahogany, and forms a thick head of just barely off-white, which lingers a bit ere dwindling to a cap and ring. Lacing is nonexistent.

Smell: Redolent with a variety of fruits, from raisin and plum to cherry and fig, with hints of currant as well. Belgian candi sweetness underlies the fruit aromas, like a mattress of cotton candy buoying the orchard upwards.

Taste: In contrast to the fruity nose, the taste opens with a serious wallop of dark bread, which is accompanied by both a rush of alcohol heat and a slurry of faint, mingled stone fruits. This persists through the middle, and at the finish, the alcohol falls away to reveal a beautiful caramel-toffee bread soaked in raisin and currant preserves and served up on a plate of leather. At times, a metallic tinge swims through the beer, coppery and harsh.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly fizzy and prickly, this somehow remains full and sticky. There's enough carbonation to lend a sharpness to the entire tasting process.

Overall: I actually get far more noticeable alcohol heat out of the Prior 8 than the Abt 12, likely due to the reduced punch of the malt and yeast profiles. This is not even in my top 3 beers from St. Bernardus.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to HYDE for hooking this up for me! Deep brown body, topped with a fluffy beige cloud. Molasses, prunes, spices, and malt all fill the nose. Sweet and spicy. Lots of huge and heavy malt flavours, accompanied with molasses, honey, brown sugar, and spices. Warming alcohol. Very smooth muothfeel. Thanks derek!

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Photo of jifigz
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

This beer is a tad colder than it should be for the optimal enjoyment. I am going to attempt to drink it slow and allow it to warm a bit.

The beer pours a dark brown with a huge head that disappeared quickly. The head left no lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet with dried fruits like raisins and prunes. The initial flavor is very sweet like the fruit flavors. The middle rounds out a bit with a molasses like sweetness an the end is a somewhat spiced dryness. The alcohol is only mildly present in the taste.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin and watery and not quite what I was expecting. The carbonation level is also a bit high, which I feel is also the case with their Pater 6.

This is a nice beer but just like their Pater 6 is doesn't stack up at all to their ABT 12.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: thick brown color, tan frothy head that quickly settles to nice finger-thick layer, carbonated streams up the sides, heavy lacing
s: heavy yeast with a nice banana bread aroma
t: lots of malts coupled with sweet plum flavor, finishes with bits of warming alcohol
m: very creamy body with a carbonated punch on the back, smooth
d: enjoyed this one - no surprise given their other beers. balance was very good and was easy to drink

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Photo of Doderlein_Bacillus
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty spicy aroma. Sweetish malty spicy flavor with hints of dark fruit. Has a sweetish malty spicy dark fruit finish.

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Photo of meatyard
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, hazy, cola color with a 1-finger, short lived head that retreats to a small cap in the middle without lacing.

The smell is caramel malt driven with candy sugar.

The taste is, at first, a bit of alcohol, then a noticeable spicy flavor (especially cloves) & caramelized malt. There are some fruit flavors in here as well, particularly figs.

Mouthfeel is full leaning, slightly yo medium with spare carbonation.

Overall: I expected a bit more though it's still a very good beer, The clove taste is more evident than I would like. This and the Pater 6, while very different beers, don't compare with the quality of the Abt 12. Look for the 12.

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Photo of Nowhereman529
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a very appealing dark amber color with a good fluffy two finger head. A very nice looking pour

Smell is pretty decent, a good bit of malt with fruit overtones, perhaps apples, and a little clove.

Taste was a little underwhelming though still pretty good. Some good maltiness with raisin, apples, clove and a nice hint of hoppy bitterness at the end.

I think this was perhaps a little too carbonated for dubbel. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but could be improved upon

It's a quality beer, perhaps a little overhyped. Definitely worth a try, maybe two or three.

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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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