Since returning from Europe I have been on a Belgian and German beer kick. When in those countries I made sure not to purchase any beer that I knew that I could easily get here in the States. I mainly did this just so that I could try as many new beers as possible. I did have a few repeats, but for the most part I tired all new beers (to me) on my trip.
One of the beers that I made sure to avoid was today’s subject, St. Bernardus Prior 8. Prior 8 is brewed by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV of Watou, Belgium. This Belgian ale is an Abbey style ale that comes in at a respectable 8% ABV. It pours a nice brown color and is accompanied by a two finger tan head. This beer is also nice and cloudy as a result of natural carbonation from the yeas that is purposefully left in the beer.
The nose on Prior 8 is wonderfully complex, as an Abbey Ale should be. I found some plum, Belgian spices, and some slight heat. Along with the other odors is the smell of some nice malty sweetness that cuts between the rest of the activity.
On the first taste, all of the flavors that were promised in the nose made a reappearance in my mouth. The plum and Belgian spices mixed wonderfully. The heat was present, but complimented everything else as did the malt sweetness. There were also flavors of raisin and fig mixed in which really added something special to this beer.
I really dig this beer. It might be the fact that I am craving these beers right now, but I think this is something special. I highly suggest this beer if you have never tried it and, if you have already had it, try it again. (more…)