January 12, 2014

St. Bernardus Pater 6 and Prior 8

St. Bernardus Pater 6 (2013)
Year Round Brew.
11.2 fl. oz. / $5.99 / 6.7% ABV

About: "StBernardus Pater 6 is a traditional abbey style dubbel, chestnut in color, very fruity with notes of melon and very fresh banana, finishing with slight bitterness. Delightfully easy to drink. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren. This name became a reference. This beer is mostly pointed out with its product name: “a Paterke”."

Thoughts: Pater 6 poured a deep brown with some reddish shades and a very light tan, small silvery head that while wasn't all too thick, but stuck around till the end.

The beer is very malt forward. It's got that familiar St. Bernardus scent to it, subtle spices, Belgian yeast, and this time around a clean watery sensation. While the beer isn't as strong as their others, this one still has a very rich scent to it. Hints of raisins, apple and pear, without any strong fume from alcohol, it remains soft yet continuously vibrant and is slightly peppery.

The taste starts off very robust, with a huge bold taste up front, it's sweet, slightly tart with a prominent yet not all too strong bitterness to it. It's gentle, clean, a little spiced, a little peppery, fruity, and long lingering. The fruity aspect to it is probably what hits the hardest and lasts the shortest, but leaves the biggest impression. It's really ripe tasting. Like soft apples and pears sprinkled with black pepper. Based on the scent, I didn't expect the taste to be this heavy, but it's all there in full effect. The background base is like brown sugar, a little bit of clove, molasses and a hint of caramel.

Mouth feel is light, a little puffy and goes away clean. This is a very nice ale.

St. Bernardus Prior 8 (2013)
Year Round Brew
11.2 fl. oz. / $5.99 USD / 8% ABV

About: "St.Bernardus Prior 8 is a traditional abbey ale brewed in the classic "Dubbel" style of Belgium's Best Abbey Ales. It has a ruby to purple color, smooth, creamy richness of texture that is almost oily, and a malt-fruit complexity reminiscent of coconut. It finds the perfect balance between sweet, bitter and malty tastes. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren."

Thoughts: Prior 8 poured a dark reddish-purple grape like color with a thick light tan head on top.

First whiff and I got some booze off of this one. It's strong and up front, but just underneath is that crisp apple and pear juice just like the Pater 6. This one doesn't seem to be as malt or yeast forward as the others. It's mainly just that fruity tone, peppery spices and a bit of alcohol.

This one starts off with a huge blast of raisin and tart cherry accompanied by forceful booze. Immediately after the swallow a gentle sting kicks in, like that of drinking a cherry flavored brandy. Only this beer has a lot of toasty dark bread, pine nuts, fiery wood and a lot of black pepper. While the yeast has imparted what seems to be the least amount of flavor in the brew, I'm finding this one to be the hoppiest out of all their beers I've tried. The tinge of alcohol really brings out the earthy and piney qualities, as well as a little bit of that oily dank. There's a good balance but something about this one seems a bit off to me. It's hard to pinpoint what it is exactly but it left a little bit of grunge on the back of my tongue and the aftertaste a little sour as well.

Mouth feel is slightly bubbly, it's smooth though oily and isn't as clean as I would have liked. This one smells a lot crisper than it actually is, but there's nothing wrong with that I suppose. I'll most likely try this one again sometime later just to see how it tastes the second time around. As it stands, this one is a beast.

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