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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,680
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,216
Gots: 257 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,680 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bradfordjohnson:
Photo of bradfordjohnson
4/5  rDev -10.9%

bradfordjohnson, Feb 21, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally a chance to get my hands on a Westy and well not as awed as many others by this beer.Pours a deep brown almost black color with a fizzy head that didnt stick around to long,aroma of spiced apples and quite yeasty.Very raisiny and somewhat spicey up front, with a light medicinal note as it warms along with some alcohol tones.I highly anticipated this beer and was left a little dissapointed.

oberon, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Westy ever, at the Kulminator in Antwerp!

Appearance: A dark brown pour with a very rich looking tan head.

Smell: I fund the nose to have a suprising tartness to it and light woody notes. There are hints of spice and unsweetened chocolate here as well.

Taste: Now this is what i was waiting for! A lovely creamy, rich body with wonderful sweetness and complexity. Hints of cocolate, black licorice and caramel reign supreme. Underlying spice gives the beer an extra kick.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. A full and satisfying beer.

Drinkability: How about all the time?! Fantastic beer with great complexity and great dinkability. This is what brewing is all about.

Popsinc, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Gorgeous, deep brown color with a gigantic whitish tan head that laced every square exposed inch of the inside glass.

Smell – Strong aroma of molasses and fine brown sugar. Some malt as well, and a few other things that I couldn't pinpoint. The smell says it’s serious.

Taste – This is a hearty brew. The initial taste is almost like a good single malt scotch. It is so sweet, but a sophisticated sweet. I don’t know what it is, almost like a good rye or barley flavor. The malt is there, too, along with a presence of alcohol and even a bitter, slightly burnt, dark flavor. This beer has it all, and it's all well executed.

The finish just keeps going. It’s almost like syrup – it lingers in your mouth forever. I can’t say enough about the flavor of this beer. I’m a big fan of the (properly done) darker European ales (weitzens, abbeys, etc) and this one just blows me away.

Mouthfeel – I thought the beer was undercarbonated ever so slightly (for my taste), but typical of the style. The smoothness though was beyond reproach.

Drinkability – This is its strong suit. The 5.0 that I’m giving it here under represents my enjoyment in drinking this bottle.

Comments – I had never heard of this beer until I went into a store and, for no real reason, tossed it in my cart. When I logged on I realized that I may have grabbed a diamond in the sand, and I was right.

RoyalT, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think that I might just like this one a touch more than the 12. The 8 has lighter aromas and flavors, a softer body and a lighter palate. The reduced alcohol gives the beer a less vinous character, which allows more delicate components of the nose and tongue to shine through. This is certainly more subtle but I don’t think it’s lacking anything significant on the 12. It’s just a different beer. One item that I must note is the body. IN addition to being generally softer, the 8 seems to be considerably more bubbly. The head is slightly more aggressive on the lips and tongue and the more assertive carbonation seems to do a better job of cleansing the palate between sips. Each next sip, is therefore closer resembling the original, full flavored, mind blowing sip. I like this about the beer. I also like that it looks, tastes, and smells just uncannily good and also that it’s damn near impossible to find. What a treat it is and well worth every penny, or couple thousand pennies that one must drop to get a bottle.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a medium sized off-white/pale brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves plenty of lacings.

S: Light fruity aromas and plenty of malts - very thick and robust. Notes of fudge and toffee mixed with earthy herbal aromas. Some spicy phenols and alcohol. Rather complex and well balanced, but it's not as impressive or as powerful as I had expected.

T: A similar balance between fruity aromas and malts as in the smell: cherries, slightly tart red currants rests upon a decent malty backbone. Fudge and caramel delivers much of the sweetness. Dark bread, a gentle note of wood and just a hint of blanket (which I find a bit odd). The finish is slightly phenolic and somewhat bitter with notes of sweet alcohol, herbs and minerals.

M: Full bodied, smooth texture. The finish is somewhat dry. A very pleasant mouthfeel.

D: A good beer, very good actually. Complex, well balanced and tasty. But one of the best beers in the world? Perhaps not, in my humble opinion.

ricke, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of punkindrublic50
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Carries the flavor of the famous Westvleteren 12, but without so much of the depth or complexity. Still an amazing beer, more drinkable in the sense that if you have 3 your head doesn't start swimming, but you cant shake the feeling that the 12 is that much better and what you really want. Similar to Dogfish 90/120 in that sense, the 90 is good in its own right but still just pales in comparison to its big brother.

Anyhow, the beer itself looks and smells excellent, extremely dark with a tan head. Definite mix of darker fruits and malts, goes down extremely easy especially for a beer with 8% alcohol. Nicely carbonated, and like its big brother best enjoyed at the cafe opposite the monastery for the full experience.

punkindrublic50, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

OhioBobcat, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

brownbeer, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Schlais, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of tbryan5
5/5  rDev +11.4%

tbryan5, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, lively carbonation, produces a thin white head that diminishes to a thin film.

S - The Belgian yeast smells of figs and cherries are really coming through.

T - Sweet brown sugar and dark fruit, a bit of booze, some fig and a hint of something almost herby. Nicely complex for a dubbel.

M - Light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

O - A great beer that I'm glad I had the opportunity to try. Just like the 12 this is worth the hype and price to try this special beer.

SkiBum22, May 18, 2012
Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +11.4%

readicculus, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of drumline
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle with an 08.08.09 date on the bottle

Appearance - Pours a dark reddish color, with about half an inch of head that sticks to the sides of the glass, giving this beer "legs"

Smell - Sweet apples and grapes, bready and yeasty smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation. Lots of fruitiness here, with plum and grape flavors taking the forefront. Dry aftertaste with a mild alcohol warming sensation.

Drinkability - Hands down one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. I finished off this bottle in no time. Each sip leaves you yearning for another. Damn near perfect brew.

drumline, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of farundrpar
5/5  rDev +11.4%

farundrpar, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Four-year-old bottle--a gift from a friend. Poured into a silver-rimmed Westvleteren chalice, a nearly opaque, dark, rusty brown, with shimmering ruby hues, a tightly-laced creamy beige head atop, and a settled, healthy, ringed lace. Toffee in the nose, along with a suggestion of dates. On the palate, very dry up front, and incredibly complex beneath. Powdery malts, dextriny notes of carob, honey, and a spike of sherry. Similar malted milky sweetness profile found in the Blonde, but with more depth. Soft prune, date sugar, hint of anise, slightly roasty around the edges, carob and a brush of toffee. Light phenols, herbal. Slightly fumy alcohol on the breath. Dry, powdery finish.

Westvleteren 8 is fine aged, but it's become a bit too dry and muted for our liking. Delicious fresh, and arguably better than Westvleteren 12 in drinkability.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

SuomiHobbit, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of newk340
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

newk340, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one for a bit and finally decided to crack it open. Bottle cap reads 11.12.06. Pours into my glass a deep chocolate brown with a half inch of light tan fizzy bubbles on top of the brew. I got a little over zealous and ended up with some floaties in the glass. Otherwise it does looks nice...good head retention. Aromas start off with boozy dark fruits, raisins and rich dark malts. Notes of cocoa, molasses and leather all work in. Dark candy sugar comes to mind with a yeasty twang. Really quite nice.

First sip brings a smooth dark, slightly roasty maltiness that carries flavors of raisins and dark fruits with some cherry noticeable. A touch of cocoa works in with some sweetness but it's not overpowering. Some lightly spicy yeast tones follow on the way down along with a hint of a leathery flavor yet again. The brew finishes smooth with a light caramel, fruity finish. Tasty stuff indeed.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and rather smooth with a fast paced somewhat aggressive carbonation. Quite easy to drink and goes down almost too easily. A tasty treat of a brew and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try it. I still prefer the 12 and I'm not gonna go out of my way to find this again considering the cost and the trouble involved. If I run across it or find myself in Belgium than that will be a different story :-).

orbitalr0x, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of briang01
4/5  rDev -10.9%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of JStutz82
5/5  rDev +11.4%

JStutz82, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of bulldogg915
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

bulldogg915, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

warnerry, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of Todd
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: .33l brown bottle. Direct from the source, so no label. Just a blue cap and the number 8. Served in a traditional Westvleteren silver rimmed chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a mean chunky off-white head of stiff foam. Settles to a patchy lace with sticking and staying power. Colour is a very deep, dark ruby. Poured leaving most of the yeast in the bottle.

Smell: Incredibly rich aromas of Belgian candy sugar, toffee, yeast and gentle spices -- like anise.

Taste: Extremely smooth on the palate with a wonderful creamy mouthfeel with a fine and gentle carbonation. Luscious malt flavours of chocolate, coffee, licorice/anise, toffee, prune and honey unfold onto the palate with a slightly slick buttery-like (diacetyl). Notes of brandy pull-thru for even more depth of character. A racy sharpness hits with a unique yeast flavour, very mild tea-like bitterness and a spicy alcohol presence. Perfect balance. Dry finish, a little slick on the palate, a bit oily, with coffee and earth flavour residuals and alcohol vapors.

Notes: I'd go as far as saying that this is without a doubt one of the best beers on the planet. Truly a masterpiece.

Todd, Jun 03, 2001
Photo of shapudding
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark and beautiful amber, clear with some carbination a-rising to the eggshellish thick and creamy head. Decent head retention. Champagne and chardonnay, vineous scents... nice. Very smooth feel, it just runs over your tongue so easily. Very bitey flavor, so nice, very sharp. Taste of alcohol, almost whiskey aftertaste. Good warm tastes. Dry with a bit of sweetness. Drinkability is pretty damn good, but you do taste alot of alcohol, so maybe not a session...
Redid this one again 12/25/04. Done in a vertical X-mas Day tasting as a special treat from my beerbud! Thanks to the BlitheringIdiot for the Westy 6,8, and 12 that we shared for a Christmas day celebration!
-Dating 04-03-07. Dark rootbeery brown with a ton of huge, frothy, khaki head that finally reduced down to a thick ring at the edges. Saison scents in the spiciness. Banana, oranges, and cherries. So nice and dry. Smooth and creamy, but not heavy. Medium maybe. Carbination is present but not overwhelming. Can feel and taste the alcohol, very nice, I enjoy that. Tastes of vanilla and dark fruits, but not sweet. The Blithering one said he tastes almond extract, yep, you can sooo get that, and once you do, that is mostly what you taste. Can smell the almond a ton at the end. The flavors are good in this one, I find it much more enjoyable than the 6. Could djoy a few of these in a sitting quite easily.

shapudding, Jan 02, 2005
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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,680 ratings.