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

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,780 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,780
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.26%
Wants: 1,270
Gots: 298 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001

(Blue Cap)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,780 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Westvleteren 8 pours from the bottle a beautiful stream of crystal-clear orange-amber. In the glass it appears darker as the volume of liquid increases, and it's mounting head of creamy, yellowed-paper foam rises. The head retention is excellent and it leaves a fortress of creamy lace about the glass. Carefully poured it remains clear, and it's a beautiful glass of beer with a dark-crimson-accented copper/chestnut body that reveals plumes of streaming bubbles within, and gleaming crimson, orange, and gold highlights towards the base of the goblet.

The nose is sweet and caramelish, with undercurrents of dark-skinned fruits (some dried, some fresh) and delicate spice; as well as the occassional waft of light alcohol.

In the mouth, it's light bodied with a lively zest due to it's effervescent, natural carbonation. As it warms, however, it becomes cottony soft and smooth across the palate; accentuating its maltiness and rounding it greatly.

Spice and caramel appear first on the palate, and leave last... but in between there's a wide variety of sugary sweet, spicy, and fruity flavors that appear. Sweet sugar-cookie dough that's been drizzled with caramel comes to mind first. Additionally, dark fruit skins quickly appear upfront and become more fruity and juicy (and even slightly vinous towards the end...) as it progresses across the palate, joined by a rising spiciness and balancing bitterness. A splash of alcohol is right on the tail (but not until you've had half a glass), and it finishes dry but with lingering doughy-caramel malt and sublime, peppery spice that fades to a muddy-spicy-dark fruit linger.

Superb!

Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33cl brown bottle with no freshness date to be found, thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle gets stirred up a bit from the initial push of carbonation.

Appearance: Tons of tiny bubbles burning a path through the dark and tawny brew, some of the sediment made its way into the glass as it was lifted by the carbonation in the bottle. Those bubbles hold a very solid cream coloured lace together.

Smell: Sweet tart granny smith apple, soft herbal phenols and bready malt with a yeast backing make up the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Stiff crispness holds its own up against the creamy and thickly layered medium body. Big expressive bitterness from some hops but more of a tangled yeast, herbal phenol and spiced bitter flavour. Fruitiness gets juicy in the middle with some tag along alcoholic esters. Good foundation of malt that leaves nothing untouched as it unravels flavours of whole grain bread, faint molasses, toasted grains and a light dry husk in the end.

Drinkability & Notes: A big thumbs up from me, more than just a noteworthy brew. Beer like this makes the big picture of good beer that much more clear. An addictive sipping style brew.

Photo of Kegatron
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Pours a murky amber, topped with a thin yet bubbly tan head. This retains with some light ringing that leaves back a smattering of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of ripe fruit, spice and sweet sugars. A smidge of light alcohol, roast and some darker fruit character add some edge to the nose as well. The taste pretty much mirrors the aroma, with a rich and flavorful mix of tropical and dark fruits, toffee and brown sugar. Spice works itself into the profile effortlessly, giving things a zesty edge that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft crispness to the carbonation. Just a touch of alcohol heft sits underneath but overall, this is extremely smooth in the mouth for an 8% beer. This is a really impeccable Dubbel, with a richness and smoothness to the flavors, which just knocks it out of the park. Fantastic beer!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On to the 8.

Pours a dark clear brown with a thin creme head. Nose is Chalky malts. Flavor is malty thick. Sugar tones are there as well. Feel is fairly vibrant on carbonation (much more than the 12) and the liquid is smooth. This is a nice beer, but I think I have come to the decision that the Westy brews are a class of their own. Unique and unlike anything else around. I am glad to have been able to try them, but they are a bit too unusual...even for my palate.

P.S. I appreciated this one more than the 12.

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.75/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of jlindros
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from Belgium and shared with rudzud.

Decent fluffy fizzy but smaller head fades fairly quickly, murky chestnut mahogany brown color with yeast sediment chunks.

Nose is brown malts, bit syrupy like, nutty toffee, caramel, almost molasses like, nice soft aged dark fruits, aged malt too, light phenols and touch of booze, nice candy brown sugar to round it off, very light oxidation.

Taste starts with lots more brown malts, fairly thick but not really syrupy. Nutty, toffee, and light molasses, with faint toasty malts and little chewy caramel candy. Also very light are candied aged dark fruits, covered in brown sugar. Sweet candy, lead to light booze warmth and a bit of phenols, but also a light oxidation again but very light and mostly toward the finish. Very light hops. Finish is drier, not sticky at all, more candy like flavors lingering, toffee nutty caramel flavors.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, not syrupy at all, decent carb, light warming booze.

Overall pretty nice. Maybe better than westy 12 but not sure. Tasty beer aside from the oxidation which is very light on the flavor. I'm impressed how it gets the sweet characters but not syrupy at all.

Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

taken from notes - I discovered after moving at the end of last year
Many, many Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for this bottle!-poured cellar temp in my la fin du monde tulip

A -beautiful bronze, dark toffee color w/ thick cap of beige that produces a copius amount of lace slight haziness but bead is very tiny

S - The smell has plenty of dark fruit scents w/ mild date and nuts w/ slight ripe banana and caramel -this has a lot going on. There is a mild raisin and dark sugar component with light woody tinge too.

M- The feel is as great as the smell, light in body for such a big beer with smooth malt textures and lively carbonation with a dry luxurious finish

T - The flavor is not exactly mirroring the nose which through me off a little - more nutty and toasted malt than the yeast, but pretty dry with a light dried fruit flavor and slight twiggy element from the hops which are very subtle. The yeast has a mild spice element in the flavor with gentle vanilla qualities, very good flavor with only a mild warming of acohol.

D - One of the best dubbels I have had for sure, an excellent trappist - I spent some time savoring this but would love to see what it is like fresh. I think it might rate a bit higher since the age could have dried it out a bit.

Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown with a finger and a half of off white head. The retention is great and it clings to the glass nicely.

Smell: A bit sweet with some dark fruit and cherry notes. Mildly tart with some Belgian yeast spice.

Taste: Not as sweet as I was expecting. There is a strong cherry note along with some other dark fruits. A very mild sour note, not sure if it is supposed to be there or not. The finish is malty with a very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium. The carbonation is extremely smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: A very good Dubbel, but didn't quite live up to my expectations, which were admittedly high. The cherry notes were very pleasant and everything blended together quite nicely.

Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from tpd975, Cheers Greg!

Pours chestnut with 3+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & good head retention

S: Apple skins & orchard fruits

T: Apple skins, dryness, cinnamon, a touch of leather & green apples up front. This becomes very warming once this approaches warmer temperature, along slight charred grains, more leather & dryness & some pears as well. Finishes dry with fruittyness

MF: Light. spritzy (maybe this is fairly young bottle?) & very warming

Drinks easy enough, this must be a younger, bottle. I personally was too paranoid to sit on this bottle for too long, if you have a safe cellar. (me, I have 2 kids under 9) then age this to your hearts content. This is not close to my favorite dubbel, feel very fortunate to get to try it though

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of MasterSki
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #100 - to celebrate I opened a Westy 8 that has a best before date of August 28th, 1999 - meaning it was likely bottled in 1996. I've kept in mind the ridiculous age on this brew (it's the oldest thing I've ever had) and I'll likely append to the review after I drink a fresh one. Served in a goblet.

A - Good foam for such an old brew! One-finger of light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a tiny bit of lace. The beer itself is a murky brown color with a tinge of orange. Surprisingly free of solids.

S - Wow! This is so complex that I don't even know where to start. Apples, cherries, grapes, plums, raisins - very fruity, but also vinous with a white wine element to it. There's still a good malt backbone with caramel flavors in it. It is unbelievable that a Dubbel smells this good after so long.

T - The malt and caramel flavors come out more in the taste, but there's still a lot of fruit juice characteristics present - grapes, plums, and raisins to be specific. There's also a smoky/woody tinge to the taste that wasn't present in the smell.

M - Very smooth, with a good medium-bodied viscosity. Surprisingly there is still a little carbonation tingle present after all these years. Leaves a slightly sticky feeling after swallowing.

D - This beer was very, very, sweet and the flavor was extremely intense. While it otherwise didn't have anything to detract from its drinkability (carbonation was fine, not too boozy, etc.) the experience was so exhausting that I think having more than one of these would be utterly ridiculous. I'd also have incredible guilt over consuming more than one bottle.

I was quite worried when I decided to open this - it could easily have been utterly foul - but this beer has aged remarkably well. I suspect it'd score a little better earlier in its life (particularly in the appearance and mouthfeel categories), but I'm very glad to have been lucky enough to score such an ancient bottle - gives me hope for the 1980s Westy ABT and Westy 6 I have kicking around.

Photo of Rifugium
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brian (msubulldog) for throwing this in as an extra!

2006 vintage, consumed Dec., 2012, shared at Funky Buddha, Boca Raton, FL.

Dark mahogany color, with a small tan head that retained as a thin layer, and left a little lacing on the glass. Absolutely loved the aroma on this. Rich scents of sweet raisins, figs, caramel malts, brown sugar, Belgian yeast. Super smooth. I almost want to give it a 5.0. The taste reflects the nose, dried dark fruits, mingled with smooth malt sweetness, dark sugars, a touch of cocoa, and a mellow but ubiquitous booziness throughout the session. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, moderate carbonation. Complex and well-crafted.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is a perfect ruddy brown, eggplantish, edging on violet, lovely, rich and full color, and the head is large, slowly to simmer down, off-whitish.

Aroma : good Lord, it's perfect, rich and raisiny, strong, spicy, very lively, ...what are they mixing in those monasteries? It's a magical bouquet, is what I say!Oh,to sniff it anew is another pleasure, and now, I can't hold back, it's time to drink the damned thing!

OHMYGOD!!!
I've raved about the works of the brothers of St. Sixtus before, but GOOD GOD JESUS!!! This is mystifying, uplifting, magical, amazing! Can I be more specific? No...Energizing is the best adjective, the beer is so lively it makes everything it comes in contact with livelier!

This apparently belongs to the style "Belgian Abbey Dubbel", but on consuming 1/2 of one small bottle, I know now that this beer puts all the others to shame! There is fruit, and dazzling hops, and malt, and tantalizing texture, but the thing that sets this apart, if there is such a thing, is unknowable.
I had a Belgian Abbey Dubbel tonight from a very reputable source, and it was nice, but not magical.
This ..this ...it transports ones senses to new realms, higher planes of appreciation! If I'm getting lofty, forgive me, please, but know that every word is true..I don't know how they do what they do, but they do! This is the ultimate!
I'm joining the cloister, too, if means getting close to beer this fine and lovely!
Here's to all the monks, toiling for our sins, and crafting this exceptional, gorgeous, transcendental work!

Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a Westy 8. Served in a Chimay goblet (at least its a Trappist glass). Thick fine brown head. The head was great when I poured it and has lasted as I drink. The head leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is amazing. That great smell of Belgian yeast, like on the air. The carbonation is steady with tiny bubbles all over the outside of the glass. The mouthfeel is smooth, I could drink 10 of these in no time at all. The flavor is sweet and yeasty. It is a great example of a style that I am not usually thrilled with, dubbels. I really like this beer a lot. Its truly one of the great beers of the world.

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of mdfb79
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 0.33L bottle into my Duvel tulip. Cap is dated 27.1.13.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with 2 fingers of off white head that has great tention. The head lasted for several minutes and left some nice lacing on the glass. Moderate carbonation and a little bit of sediment evident.

s - Smells of Belgian yeast, spices, dark fruit, especially raisins and plums, light sweet fruity malts, and bready malts. Also a little brown sugar. Smells like a great dubbel.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, bready malts, Belgian yeast, spices, and alcohol.Still very good, but a step down from the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. The body is very creamy and smooth; it's perfect.

d - Overall I thought this was an amazing dubbel. I thought it looked and smelled amazing, and the mouthfeel was perfect. While I think the taste was very enjoyable, it was probably the weakest part of this beer. I would have liked a little less alcohol in the taste. That being said the taste is still great, it's just that the smell and mouthfeel are pretty much perfect. Would love to get some more of this.

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy brown with a thin tan head.

The smell is powerful - I could smell it at some distance away. Fruity (peaches?) and brandy-like. Caramel/toffee comes through strongly.

The taste is complex - mix of fruits - from peaches to dark fruits. Caramel/toffee, leaning towards chocolatey maltiness. Some spicy/woody/nutty notes blend in well. Brandy-ish. Finishes with a spicy, woody dryness. Nicely textured.

Easy to drink, esp. for abv level. Quite a bit to savor and contemplate with each sip. A great brew (though I'm not sure that it hits third highest, IMO).

Thanks to nacir69 for ascertaining this classic, hard-to-find brew for me!

Photo of kojevergas
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Westvleteren goblet at In Da Vrede Cafe, Westvleteren, Belgium. I had me fair share of these while I was there; I was waiting to pick up me reservation of 48 Westvleteren blonde, which I managed to do on foot with a photocopy of a USA car registration. At least it saves you the cost of the crate deposit.

A: Two fingers of marvelous cream and thickness. Dark amber-caramel colour, almost black. Very appealing.

Sm: Caramel and nuts. Hoppy. A moderate strength scent, but certainly a wonderful one.

T: Dark fruit and some nuts. The dark fruit is a bit like the Westy 12, but lessened to accomodate the nuts. A sour fruit finish with notes from the nose. Very complex. Plum and cherry come through. I love the fruit undertones. Perfectly balanced. Well built for the style.

Mf: Silky smooth and wonderful. Very delicate and soft. Exquisite cream. Again, very similar to the Westy 12. I don't know how they make the mouthfeel of such a complex and high ABV beer so fragile and delicate; it's just beyond me. It's truly masterful brewing. Perfect.

Dr: I'll pound it all night like it's Megan Fox. Not as good as the 12, but still an amazing beer. I think too often this beer gets compared with the 12 unfavorably, which is so difficult to avoid. Taken out of the shadow of the 12, it's a magnificent beer in its own right. This beer can almost have a tendency to feel like its a step on the staircase towards the 12, but it ought to be considered outside this context, as in terms of the Dubbel style, it's hard to do better. An amazing beer all things considered. Very affordable when purchased at the abbey and not from the douchenozzle ebayers. Obviously its availability is a constraining factor.

Photo of smcolw
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impressive head that lasts a very long time. Chunky lace on the glass. Dark, dark brown color. Very cloudy.

Strong malty presence without any sweetness.

Sweet with an excellent light hop balance. Very easy to drink. Deceptive on the alcohol--it's well hidden. Rich body but it also has a very high level of carbonation.

This is a very easy-to-drink Trappist beer. I prefer it to the 12.

Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,780 ratings.