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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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,649 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,649
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,201
Gots: 251 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,649 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Auburn colour, bergundy in some light. Vanilla, fruit, yeast and malts. Mouthwarming sizzling carbonation with light-medium texture. Spice and dried fruit, bannana with raisin, carmel . Bit acidic. Great by itself and as appetizer, but beware that the alcohol is there. Deserves its rich reputation.

Sammy, Jun 21, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

t0rin0, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Cap is dated 02.12.07.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, grape juice, and lots of dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some really tasty flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

djrn2, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, chestnut brown with a very nice head and lacing throughout.

S: Lots going on here. Dark fruits are there, but the dominant scent seems to be that of fresh, sweet red/black grapes. Very nice and interesting. Quite a bit of Belgian yeast coming through.

T: Lots of red grapes, slightly-roasted doughy malt, yeast, dark fruits, a bit of earth, and some very nice all-around sweetness.

M: Complex and creamy, not too alcoholic. Perhaps a tad bit thin.

D: Amazing. Such a complex and wonderful beer. I actually think I like this better than the 12, at least while they are relatively fresh.

Thorpe429, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

zestar, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +11.4%

nmann08, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -10.9%

acurtis, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a pancake batter head that drapes sheets of lace

Smell: Very different aromatics from this one - phenolic scent of caramelized apple, rum-soaked raisins, french toast with vanilla sugar, honey and almonds

Taste: Opens with a rum-soaked raisin and caramel flavor with budding vanilla flavors by mid-palate; Amaretto, as well; after the swallow, the caramel, creme brulee takes over and additional alcohol appears on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; very smooth

Drinkability: While very similar to its boozy cousin, this one is less sweet and less alcoholic and, in my opinion, much more drinkable

Thanks, UncleJimbo, for the long-awaited experience

brentk56, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a dark brown beer with a huge head with excellent retention. Aroma is quite sweet with some great mix of spice and malts. Taste is sweet with what seems like a mix between candi sugar and plum with some added roastiness. Great carbonation and alcohol is very subtle. Overall, this is way better Westmalle Dubbel and probably one of the Belgian Ale I appreciated the most.

Phyl21ca, May 10, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BEERchitect, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Texasfan549, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Aventinus goblet.

Very nice dark amber brown with, dare I say the biggest head I have ever seen on a beer! Good gawd, half the bottle and this thing was almost out of the goblet! Huge lively carbonation and streams of bubbles ripped through the glass, this looks like it has teeth!

The smell was very spicey at first, tingled the nose. Hints of dark fruit, pears, apples, cinnamon, figs, I could go on. The smel was tremendous and very inviting. A kind of candy sweetness almost to it as well. This is complex, am I ready, I don't know but I have to take a chance...down we gooo....

The taste cannot really be described. Pick your favorite belgian, and its not quite good enough t compare. Rich complex flavors( have I mentioned the word complex?) Spices and fruits are all over the spectrum and I don't even know where to begin. Pears, figs, cinnamon again are al over this. Cherry maybe, definatly apple. Sugars that I have nver tasted before. Yummy as hell. The taste is like nothing I have ever tasted in a beer before.

The feel on this is extrodinary. So alive, it literally is popping in your mouth as you sip. So smooth and the taste just lingers for what seems like an eternity. Simply wonderful. I am glad I picked this up, just at the least to see if it lived upto the hype, and it does! I cannot begin to imagine what the 12 must be like, the one in my fridge will let me know soon enough!

mikesgroove, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +11.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a nice firm tan head.

Nose is initially all banana malt. Goes to carmel, cooked apples and spiced bread as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is rich and full but crisp, not creamy and with light, but perfect, carbonation. Good body however.

Flavors are wonderfully layered, rich, bold and full. Assertive banana/carmel/creamed sweet coffee character and flavor. Cooked fruit, carmel, toffee, and banana all come in layers. A wonderfully balanced and integrated beer with underlying bitter coffee hops.

Balance and integration is near perfect. One of the most balanced beers I've had.

Long finish is rich malt, banana, carmel that goes to semi-sweet bitter chocolate/coffee.

This is a wonderful beer and less "thick" than the Westvleteren 12, the number one beer in the world. This one is actually far better balanced and, dare I say it, actually may be an all around better drinking beer. But, this is my first one. I have 3 more bottles to go!

GRG1313, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tendermorsel for sending me this bottle. My first Westvleteren beer and review #600.

A: The crack of the cap let loose a gusher all over my lap. Once I managed to get the beer into my goblet, the pour is a dark mahogany color with a fluffy tan head that sticks to the glass.

S: The nose is rich and fruity with notes of plums and raisins. There is plenty of malty and sugary sweetness and some Belgian yeast esters and a faints spice.

T: The flavor is chocolatey and sweet with hints of molasses and caramel. The raisins, plums, and figs provide fruitiness and along with the alcohol, a rum-like flavor.

M: The body is smooth and medium to full bodied with a creamy and smooth carbonation.

D: My first Westy didn't disappoint. I'm not always the biggest fan of dubbels, but this was quite complex and flavorful. I understand why it's so highly regarded.

womencantsail, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +11.4%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a murky, dark brown body with a thin, creamy, beige-colored head.

Smell: Malty, fruit nose smelling of molasses blended with homemade caramel sauce, dark fruits, apple slices, and French vanilla.

Taste: Rich, sweet maltiness tasting of chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Maybe a sprinkle of brown sugar and dark candi sugar, too. Splash of fruity Beaujolais. Flavors of figs and golden raisins and Red Delicious apples. Pass the Baked Alaska!! A touch bready. Slight yeastiness. Rather warming alcohol presence, particularly on the finish. Finishes sweet and resoundingly fruity with a lingering red wine taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Rich, punchy and packed with a fruitastic estery character, although it lacks the depth of the yellow-capped twelve or the drinkability of the green-capped blonde. Still recommended, though.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.06/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out as a deep amber brown color with a quick fading tan head on top. There isn't much retention or lacing at all. The smell of the beer give off some Belgian spice notes with some cherry and vanilla in the mix. The taste of the beer is bready, spicy slightly sweet and earthy. The mouthfeel is very well carbonated and has a slight booziness in the finish. Overall it's a very good beer but it's nothing overly special. I believe the challenge of getting these beers adds to the hype which reflects the initial score of them. It's good just not as good as the score on here shows.

Knapp85, Jun 02, 2013
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 westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, murky brown - the typical dubbel color, but with exceptionally good head retention.

Smell: Dry and spicy; plum, fig, black licorice and herbal hops.

Taste: Bold, dry and slightly tart. The flavor notes at fig, licorice, apple and toasted nuts. Well-hopped in the finish, it ends bitter and dry. A subtle sweetness comes out as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth on the tongue. Medium-bodied with gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: The dryness really adds to the drinkability - if not for the rarity I could see myself drinking this often.

Notes: Different but nearly as good as Westvleteren 12. This is probably the best dubbel I've had, with St. Bernardus coming fairly close.

largadeer, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blue 8 cap dated "19.11.13", if this is the best by date, 3 years from bottling, it's a little over a year old. Fond memories drinking this many years ago at Delilahs. Thanks Denise for this bottle straight from Belgium!

Into a Moinette chalice, it pours a tawny dark amber, crystal clear with rapid carbonation visible at first. Lasting veil of velvety foam, that remains for the duration of the glass.

Vinous aroma, dried fruit sweetness, yeasty doughiness.

Extremely creamy feel, medium bodied, fine carbonation. Some oxidation notes, rather bitter and oddly metallic. Some nutty malt flavors linger, bitter walnut and grassy herbs. Taste seems a bit of a letdown from what I remember years ago. Very dry and attenuated, with an overt alcohol presence. Probably won't seek out again unless it's known to be very fresh.

emerge077, Dec 27, 2011
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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,649 ratings.