Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 1,620 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +6.9%
The pleasure to enjoy this magical beer at the Cambrinus Restaurant in Brugge in complement to a fine late lunch is as welcome in my memory bank as profound as any I have had in all my beer drinking days.
As the beer pours into the challice, the carbonation errupts and threatens to overtak the rim. But alas, it settles into a creamy and rocky set of tightly and loosely knit foam with tremendous staying power and intricate lace to boot. The beer underneath is a dark garnet with lavender highlights carrying a modest yeasty haze. The beer just exudes prowessness.
Delicate and succulent aromas provide a candied fruit scent of powdered sugar, ripe grape, light sherry wines, cahsews, honey, mild chocolate and toast. A mild spicy note that seems somewhat of wine, wood, dried orange peel, and peppercorn come to life just as the first sip is taken.
The taste envelops the mouth, coating it with the taste of powdered sugar, dry malt, red wine, candied grapes, nuts, berries, and the background note of dried pitted fruits like dates and figs. Very well balanced with dry malt tannin, spicy peppercorn, and slight citrus- this beer captures wave after wave of flavor combination with exquisit balance and finesse.
Soft and expansive textures seem to explode in the mouth giving an airy robustness that's somewhat firm and whimsical at the same time. But the beer's ultimate dry and powdery warmth causes it to disolve on the tongue just like cotton candy, and when the beer finishes there's nothing there to swallow- only an impression of dry fruit and spice that lingers softly in aftertaste but easy on the palate and stomach.
01-23-2008 19:12:24 | More by BEERchitect
4.9/5 rDev +9.1%
It's time once again to add a little beer to this mug of mine. Since the first addition to the glass was Westvleteren 12, I've decided to keep it in the family and go with Westvleteren 8, the best dubbel on the planet according to those whom I respect and admire.
Pecan shell brown that takes on more of an auburn hue with orange highlights when backlit. The voluminous toast brown head appears frothysoft, but is deceptively firm with a supernatural persistence. This beer is simply beautiful in the glass. Lovely aroma of heavily toasted caramel, dried fruit (apples, figs) steeped in brandy, and spice (cinnamon, allspice). The nose is complex to be sure, although it could be a mite stronger.
Wonderful flavor; delicious. My first impression is that, although there are many flavors to be had in this bottle, the beer is unquestionably a seamless, individual entity. As I drink, I actually have a mental image of a sphere that has multiple and varied components, but is first and foremost a perfectly smooth whole. My first bottle of exceptional wine was an eye opening experience because it introduced me to the concept of what I like to call 'volume'. This beer has an superabundance of volume.
When a beer is this well-crafted, this flavorful, this complex and this nuanced, when it has a body that is at once full and silky smooth, each mouthful seems to completely fill the mouth, to have such a depth and breadth of flavor and body that it expands into three dimensions and push the boundaries of sensation. That, my friends, is the best way that I can devise to describe the loveliness that is Westvleteren 8.
The flavor profile is amazingly similar to the nose, but much more satisfying ('tis the taste, the actual imbibing that I crave). Sweet, dark caramel-toffee, brandy-soaked cherries, leather, good bourbon... combined with a grace and a lightness of touch that will make your very soul weep with pleasure.
Is Westvleteren 8 better than Westvleteren 12? My vote is an unqualified 'yes'. I could drink this every day for the rest of my life and not tire of its myriad charms. This is as soul satisfying and as life affirming as beer gets.
09-25-2004 21:29:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.29/5 rDev -4.5%
Appearance: A chestnut brown, with a pale, eggshell-white head. Very creamy head, and it lasts a while.
Smell: Dark fruits, dates specifically, brown sugar and pale syrup. Definitely smells sweet, and dark in the way that Belgians tend to be.
Taste: Sweet, dark fruits, hints of caramel. Belgian sugar comes through a lot too, obviously.
Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and sticky, lower carb than with the Westy Blonde. Still works beautifully for the beer though.
Overall: Another solid, exceptional example of what a Belgian dubbel should be. Those monks know what they’re doing.
08-20-2014 03:24:32 | More by WTKeene
4.76/5 rDev +6%
Bold and firm, this mohoganny brew shows tremendous complexity and focus, with a warming full body supporting notes of raisins, caramel, grape, chocolate, coffee, fruit, yeast and God knows what else - No joke intended. The finish is long and expressive and overall the beer is abound with stand out features.
08-03-2014 18:23:29 | More by endovelico
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,620 ratings.