St. Bernardus Prior 8 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

1,055 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: 1,055 | Ratings: 2,404
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
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 +0.7%
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 +4.1%
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 +1.2%
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 +1.2%
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 +15.7%
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%
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 +9.6%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.9%
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 +1.7%
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 +17.6%
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 +7.7%
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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St. Bernardus Prior 8 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 2,404 ratings.
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