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St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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1,043 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: 1,043 | Ratings: 2,366
Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
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 -2.9%
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 -3.6%
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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Photo of SwillBilly
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle that was part of a St. Bernardus gift pack, into the requisite St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance: Pours a milk chocolate brown with hints of orange hues. Nice head that disappears faily quickly.

Smell: A sweet fruit aroma, possibly apricots and hints of a dark bread and malt.

Taste: A sweet malt flavor is the initial flavor that comes to mind. Again, hints of fruit and bread and brown sugar, alcohol content is masked very well.

Mouth: Very smooth and silky.

Drinkability: This beer is drinkable but certainly not a session beer. Its very smooth but the sweetness could overhwelm if having more than 1 or 2. 8% alcohol content will creep up on you if not paying attention. Overall a very good beer, but a little sweet for me IMHO. Definately worth seeking out.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a hearty, cloudy brownish orange. Slight head appears, but subsides rather quickly.

The smell is subdued, but one can make out some floral notes, hints of fruit, spice and belgian malt. I can't quite pinpoint constituent ingredients, but the smell is quite pleasing.

The first taste explodes on the palette. Slightly astringent quality to the finish, but still drinkable and very enjoyable. Each taste brings something new to focus on. Mouthfeel is very good for a brew at 8%. Drinkability is good, although I can already sense the impending headache tomorrow morning.

Overall a very well balanced ale for the alcohol content. This was on sale at the local market for $2.99 a bottle. I'm glad I picked it up, although I don't know if I would pay 7 bucks for it I would definitely recommend anyone give it a try. Cheers.

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

Carefully decanted from a long-standing bottle, the prior delivers a crystal-clear chestnut body with a reddish cast and amber and copper highlights. Its huge, pillowy off-white head holds incredibly well and leaves solid sheets of thin, creamy lace about the glass. And there's an added attraction in that you can see the thin rings left from each sip within the solid wall. Candy sugar sweetness, sweet wine, caramel, almond, and vanilla reside in the nose; and appear again in the flavor, balanced by some dark fruitiness (black cherry, plum, fig), alcoholic spice, and leafy hops. It's bitterness is restrained against it's sugary malt, but slowly fights its way through to dominate in the finish (although some splashes of sticky malt do linger). This is a rich, sweet, satisfying, and complex ale that never becomes cloying despite its breadth; and has a great drinkability despite its strength. Impressive!

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Photo of tatterdash
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany, with a big foamy tan head that laces, but not too much. Smell was a like weak, but was a pleasant fruity raisin. Taste was a very good caramelly dark fruit, which malts making an appearance and a bit of tartness in the finish. Creamy and smooth, this was a good Dubbel, but not a great Dubbel, still a good start to a night.

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

This one was amazing... a clear reddish-brown with a head so huge, that was all I poured into my 22 oz. pilsner glass. It was massive and rocky, and stayed for quite a while.

The aroma was very complex... rich malt, spicy, warm bread, apple cider, and more scents that I just couldn't identify.

The taste was very powerful... strong malt, quite a bit of mustiness, dark fruits and figs, well carbonated, and a blast of alcohol warmth.

This was a very good beer... I couldn't drink too much more of it though, one bottle was enough.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As always, this is an excellent brew from St. Bernadus. These monks have managed to bottle the heavenly nectar in a variety of different flavors. The beer pours to a dark nutty brown color with a thick off-white head. The opacity and carbonation of this brew give the appearance of a coca-cola, but the smell and the taste beg to differ. The smell is beatifully floral and fruity as one would expect from an abbey ale. The taste is very similar to the ABT12, but perhaps a little lighter, and definately lighter on the alcohol. It is very well balanced, though the delicious caramel malt obviously shines through along with other sweet candy flavors. I recommend this or any other St. Bernadus product to anybody.

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

Ordinarily I would be bowled over by this beer, but my fiance is drinking Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout tonight, and man, is that an amazing brew. So, somehow, this great beer comes off like leftovers to me. That said, its still darn tasty.

Appearance: A dark brown, roasted chestnut hue. Typical pour produces about 2 inchs of head, which fades somewhat, but about a half hour after I poured it their is still a decent head in my chalice.Plenty of lacing. Would have given it a five, but the head on the Yeti had peaks, like merigue.

Smell: Very unique, even among St. B. brews. Raisins, Alcohols, and sweetness. Perhaps a bit of a sour/spoiled smell. Almost made me wonder if the bottle was bad, but it tasted sooo good.
spicy, fruity nose, a bit like Corsendonk brown perhaps.

Taste: More estery fruitiness. As I said before, similar to raisins but not quite. More like raisins made from chardonnay grapes soaked in brandy? But perhaps I am just talking out my arse. Anyways... Its sweet, with alcohols behind the other flavors.

Drinkablity. If I could afford it, I could drink this beer all day long. It would probably have to be a relatively cool day. Perhaps while skiing. In a flask perhaps. No, alcohol and skiing don't mix well. But Alcohol from St. Bernardus mixes well with just about anything.

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Photo of bruachan
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


pours like orangy rootbeer with a huge poofy head that never goes away and leaves strata of lacing down the glass. the aroma was of spicey bread and dark fruit. on the tongue, sweet malt with dark fruit and lots of raisin. the slight alcohol spice was nicely warming. tingly bubbles danced around and my mouth just couldn't bear to swallow the stuff

i could drink it all night (and day). delicious

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

Very pretty chocolate brown with an incredible 2 finger head. Tight bubles and murky foam. Really nice.

Rich odors of fruits and malts. Apricots and dark grapes. There's a strange, zippy alcohol smell in there, too.

The solvent alcohol is intense and quite present. This beer zips and zaps your tongue. The harsh fruits come in towards the back, hardily intensified by the alcohol, along with some nuts and a hint of buttery diacetyl.

After grow more accustom to the zip, I'm upping the drinkability to 4.0. Like any good Dubble, it keeps getting better as the bottle gets lower.

There's alot going on here, but not all of it's good. This beer just doesn't have the same cohesive *bang* of a better-balanced dubble. It's still pretty darn good, though.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murkey brown color wtiha nice 2 finger head that falls to thickly coat the beer. The nose is sweet raisiney fruity. Very mellow and pretty much what I was hoping to smell. There is some alcohol in there as well, but just as an afterthought. The flavor is very nice. A smooth raisiney character is put alongside a slightly roasted character, not quite chocolatey, but just a hint of roasted. What a nice nice beer. The feel is right at moderate thickess, but as smooth as a beer has ever been. This could make a run at the 12 for my favorite beer from these people. I do recommend this one.

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Photo of Hefe
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at R.F.D. on 12/22/04.

Appearance: Dark brown with edges of orange and red. The head is thick and tan

Smell: Plummy and malty with spicy esters, brown sugar and black cherry.

Taste: Dark fruits, and spices with a base of sweet malt. Nice clean flavor though lacking a touch of complexity.

Mouthfeel: Excellent creamy carbonation, with a rich, full body.

Drinkability: Great Drink! (Though I expect this is even better in the bottle)

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Photo of Citadel82
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle though the local buy-rite has the big ones as well.

Pours a deep ruby brown into the signature goblet, reminiscent of port wine with a thick tan head that leaves lots of lacing.

Smells of fresh bread dough, very yeasty with plums and rasins as it warms.

The taste is malty at first then alcohol then bitter hop dyness.

Medium bodied with some carbonation long after the pour

This is definitely a great beer to sip while reading or working on the web.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a medium brown/tan head. Lots of sediment in the bottom of the bottle (and later my glass).

Smell: A mix of dark malts and alcohol - plum aroma kicks in as it warms up to room temperature.

Taste: Very sweet, very sugary. Has some subtle fruit notes, but it dries up to a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is a well rounded, medium thickness that has a slippery quality on the tongue.

Drinkability: This is worth a repeat.

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

Paid $13.99 for the 4-piece sampler with 'sniffer' glass...

The beer pours a nice brownish cherry color with very large tannish-white head exceptional retention and exceptional lacing effects, a perfect appearance. The aroma is bold, one of extreme malts and a few spicy and fruit tones too.

The taste is heavy malts, light apples, touch of alcohol in the end, very solid. The moutfeel is very nice, light on the palette and extremely smooth going down, very impressive. The drinkability is also high, with the fact that's it's this smooth and a 8% abv, this is very drinkable, a 3 beers at a session will push you back 10 bucks.

Final Thought: This is quite a remarkable beer.

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

33 cl bottle. Pours dark brown with a fluffy light tan head that stuck around forever. Vinous, earthy aromas amidst a dark malt and candi sugar profile with some underlying careb and unsweetened, buttery chocolate notes. Superbly complex in taste; malty, earthy and smooth. Hoppier and a little more astringent than your average dubbel. Very good carbonation aids the dryness of the beer.

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Photo of ADR
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small 33 cl bottle...reddish brown and dark, lightly hazy with some chunks. Medium but rising head, light tan and settling as a flat surface with good embedded tight carbonation. and long-lasting properties. Plenty of lace, lots of small details on the sides of a Trois Pistoles chalice. Aroma is deep, candied cherry and molasses with cinnamon bread maltiness with yeast smells. Mouthfeel is medium to full with the carbonation prickly enough to make it mouth filling. Lots of interesting flavors, candies of chocolate and caramel, slight toffee roundness -- but what's most interesting is the fruit undertones, varied and ranging as deep as red wine-soaked prunes to bright berries with an estery leavening. Finishes with minimal apparent hops but slightly more dry than some Dubbels. I'm a big fan of this brewery.

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Photo of Paddez
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Everytime I see a St. Bernardus bottle I can't hepl thinking that they have to have one of the worst labels ever. ANyway; this beer is dark, muddy, brown in appearance. A hard pour produced a medium sized head.
The smell is sweet and malty with dark, plummy fruits and banana.
Lots of dark fruits in the taste too, but definitely not as sweet as the aroma would make you think. Then there are some notes of black coffee and alcohol. The alcohol warms the throat somewhat.
Good carbonation; quite fizzy actually and good drinkability, especially considering it's an 8%'er.

Rather strong stuff for a double, but a good beer by any means. Worth seeking out!

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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.

 1,087 characters

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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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,366 ratings.
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