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

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,675 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,675
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,212
Gots: 255 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,675 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbeckett
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at In de Vrede. My second time having this beer there. From notes.

A - Poured a dark brown with red notes. Creamy one finger beige head. Some slight filmy lacing was left and typical head retention that looked really good.

S - Good dark fruit aroma. Quite nice. Some hop and yeast as well.

T - Spice fairly obvious. Yeast, booze, and more yeast. Dark fruit dominated by the yeast character and spice mixed in. A little sweet.

M - Medium to full body and good carbonation with a slight alcoholic note in the finish.

O/D - Good beer. Nice dark fruit flavour mixed with other well represented elements. I think this is the weakest of the Westvleteren beers with the Blonde being my second favourite but this was still very drinkable and very tasty. And like all the other Westy beers, so smooth and extremely easy to drink 3 before you notice you finished 1.

tbeckett, May 17, 2011
Photo of tarheels86
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL from In De Vrede. I'm not a big Westy 8 fan. 12? Yes. Blonde? Even more so yes.

A- Pours a cloudy mahogany to deep, hazed amber with a thin, khaki head.

N- Bready, yeasty, lots of boozy caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits.

T- Sweet, lots of candi sugar, plums, figs, brown sugar.

P- Soft, mild carbonation, milk chocolate rich, slightly oily.

Really not any better than your normal Dubbel. Prolonged aging seems to give this more lemon, chalk, and mustiness whereas the 12 gains oil, ganache, heavy butter, and melted chocolate.

Definitely my least favorite of the Westy bunch.

tarheels86, May 04, 2011
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my GF, westys for my b-day! Bottle opens and a slight gush occurs, pours reddish brown with an auditory tan head and a shade of lacing. An island of foam remains atop throughout. Strong aroma of raisin, dates, and caramalized candi sugar. A little spice on the nose as well. Chewy, dark candi sugar, big cara malts and dark fruity flavors. Somewhats vinous. Nice estery yeast flavors. Really no hint of the alcohol in this beer. Little bit of nutty quality. Dryer mouthfeel than anticipated but some flavor sticking around. Well this certainly lives up to the hype, well done.

pmlondrigan, May 03, 2011
Photo of loobear
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A cinnamon-sugar colored head. Almost completely opaque, cloudy with an almond skin color.

S - For the record, I could smell this beer from two feet away. Sweet with a little spice with lots of malt. Rich.

T - Very similar to the twelve especially in the mouthfeel. Not quite as intense in flavor but by far the best dubbel I've had.

M - Not as dry as the 12 but still a faint dryness lingers in the finish and aftertaste. Westvleteren beers have the best mouthfeel I've ever encountered. Perfect balance that compliments the flavors on all three.

O - Another mind blowing beer from Westvleteren.

loobear, May 02, 2011
Photo of chrislouden
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from http://shop.belgianshop.com/ $30+shipping

Bottle stamped 08.10.13

Appearance: 2 bottle were shared among 3 people. Top of bottle is much lighter than bottom. Amber color in my glass.

Smell: Has a floral smell similar to the blonde by same brewery.

Taste: smooth dry beer. Very similar to the 12 from the same brewery.

Mouthfeel: Smooth

Overall: Only downside was price. Worth it for the experience.

chrislouden, May 02, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap stamped 08.10.13. Poured into a wine glass. Once again, thanks to Chrislouden for this awesome Westvleteren experience. He is a god amongst beer aficionados.

Appearance - Dark clear ruby black body. A bit lighter than the Westy 12. Frothy offwhite silky head. Also with great lacing. no visible sediment for the first pour. During the 2nd bottle, I took the 3rd pour and got all the sediment. It was considerably darker than anyone elses pour, due to the sediment. It was basically black even when held directly to the lightbulb.

Smell - Smells like a cross between the westy 12 and the blonde. a bit corny and a bit medicinal. Not in a bad way. That's just the best i can describe it. pretty exotic for the style, but that's a westy for you.

Taste - Wow. This is the 3rd westy i've had tonight. Another A+ from me. These guys really know what they're doing. this is a bit more bitter than the other westy's but only but a slight amount. And unless you had them back to back you might not even notice.

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel. Creamy with great carbonation.

Overall - juset a superb beer. I cannot overstate how satisfied i've been with the westvleteren experience tonight. I know overhyping something is the best way to ruin it, but as long as you come to this beer with the proper mindset, you're sure to enjoy them.

ZenAgnostic, May 02, 2011
Photo of Trizzle
3.88/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown body but a perfect tight head that grows aggressively , settles, then retains very well with red hot lace down my wine glass.

The nose unfortunately is dominated by acetaldehyde. Just underneath is warming aclohols, christmas fruits of raisins and figs and faint dry dark malt and hop notes. As it warms, the acetone gives out a touch to the other flavours.

Brown sugar, fig and raisins, caramel, dark grain, carob, and warming alcohol all obvious. Drys out through the middle with more cereal grains and a delicious chewy body with good carb levels.

I'd started righting a negative review. Beer was too cold. School girl error. Although it wasnt really THAT cold, this if far better at around 15 degrees C. I think I enjoyed this more drinking in big chewy mouthfulls rather than dainty sips as well.

Trizzle, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of nhindian
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Trappist Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours a dark brown, less murky and purple than other Belgium dubbels. A big, frothy, 2.5-finger head grows exponentially in the goblet. It's active and noisy, and you can see the carbonation sticking to the glass. The high carbonation keeps the head going for ages and there's a lasting cap that rivals the head for some beers. The lacing quickly breaks apart and slowly slides down the glass.

S - The smell is a little sweeter than other dubbels I've had and is actually surprisingly simple. The main components I'm getting in this beer are grapes, candied sugar, and some alcohol.

T - Thankfully the taste is more complex. The darker fruits come through much more strongly here, including plums, prunes, raisins and grapes, which when combined with the candied sugar, gives it a nice sweetness that lasts throughout the taste. There is a hint of alcohol in the finish but its not astringent at all.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Leaves a sweet aftertaste in the mouth and the head gives it some silkiness.

D - Drinkability is high. The nose is a little underwhelming but the taste more than compensates. It's a great dubbel, but not as much as a standout as the Westvleteren 12 is for the Quad category.

nhindian, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Bisho
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this at the cafe directly across from the abbaye itself so it was super fresh!
Let me start by saying it is probably close to perfect and I do prefer it over its big brother the 12. It has all the flavours of the 12 without the extra sweetness and is more well rounded.
The balance is impeccable considering the complexity of the brew. The only thing that lets it down is the exclusivity of the beer. This may add to its charm but I may never get to try it again and that really pisses me off!!

If you are lucky enough to get the chance to try it, do not pass it up. A true world class belgian, worthy of its reputation.

Bisho, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of EnemyWithin
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In Feb 2011. In London, Ont. Bottle into Unibroue glass.

Appearance: 4
Rich brown-red body with nice 1 inch browh-white head. Great lacing as head slowly dissipates.

Smell: 4
Brown sugar and molasses with notes of spiciness, honey, and bready dark malt. Fainter notes of floral and fruit from yeast. Overall, quite pleasant.

Taste: 5
Where to start! So deliciously full of flavor, with amazing combination of dark malt, molasses, spiciness and warmth of alcohol. This is a complex and rich combo, but so so good! The beer definitely lived up to its hype for me. Finishes with a mild bitterness from hops too.

Mouthfeel: 4.5
Creamy soft carbonation with nice moderate viscosity. Very enjoyable.

Overall/Drinakability: 4.5
Such a great beer. So full of flavor that it leaves me a little speechless. I would definitely pay another $30 for it again. Highly recommend.

EnemyWithin, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of eric5bellies
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at In De Vrede, Westvleteren

A - Pours a really nice clear Mahogany colour, with a tanned head that does not move and laces the glass.

S - Plenty of stewed dark fruit that includes plum, raisins and a hint of cinnamon.

T - Very full flavours of dark fruits so perfectly balanced with dark sugars, maybe some lighter fruit present as well. The finish os sublimely smooth and long.

M - Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation and you will struggle to beat the smoothness.

O - I ca see why people prefer this over its big brother, because its even more gentle and almost as complex. Its just so damn smooth and like the 12 takes you on a journey of flavours.

eric5bellies, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of drtth
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter glass from a bottle with a freshness date of 12.05.13 on the cap. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear dark reddish brown color tinged with orange highlights. The creamy light tan head is ¾” thick as it foams up and then begins to recede slowly leaving lots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates a layer of foam that turns into a ring and some leggy lacing as it slides back down to the ring around the glass. The active carbonation feeds a thin layer of foam that coats the surface of the beer.

Smell: The aromas in this beer include caramel tinged with dark fruits (e.g., raisins and plums). There is also a light spiciness (cinnamon?) and a faint touch of alcohol.

Taste: The flavors are rich, complex, and filled with spices and fruits. There is cinnamon, apples, figs and even a trace of pears. They all are woven together in a complex pattern that shift and changes over time.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full bodied and very smooth with moderate carbonation. The finish begins in the fruity flavors from the yeast and malt and then slides into a growing bitterness from the hops, some gentle spiciness and a tail off into dryness. Even after the flavors completely fade the roof of the mouth continues to tingle.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: One word to help understand this beer is “complex.” Another is “smooth.” The drinkability is great here. I could sip on this one all night and would hope someday to have more. My overall impression is that this beer deserves its reputation as a well-made dubbel and that it sets the bar to such a height that others may aspire but don’t really achieve.

drtth, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of n2185
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a murky dark brown with two fingers of off-white head. Good retention with a little lacing.

S: Very dry, barnyard aroma with some sweet dark fruits underneath. There are some spicy Belgian yeast aromas on the finish.

T: Very similar to the aroma, lots of barnyard flavors with touches of dark fruits as well. The finish has a slightly bitter, bready finish.
M: medium body with high carbonation, it's very crisp and nice.

O: a very unique, but very good dubbel. Wish it was more available though.

n2185, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to rating this. There was a time where I didnt love this beer, but I've grown and now really dig it, not because of the name but because it's great.

Poured into the Westy trappist glass.

A: Dark muddy brown hue with a small pinky of tannish head and great lacing around the glass. Pretty ruby highlights also shine through.

S: Great smell with figs, cinnamon, ginger, chocolate tinged cocoa malt, belgian signature yeast strains, licorice notes, caramel and just a touch of banana sweetness. Some flutters of a farmhouse Saison dirtiness in there.

T: Beautiful taste with a well balanced mix of savory flavors to mix well with meat or cheese, bittersweet middle of the palate, licorice and ripe fruit in the front (beautifully done), and caramel and plum with molasses to boot. Luscious overall. Excellent.

M: Juicy front and dry finish with an amazing lingering taste and smoothness. Outstanding.

O: Great stuff that is extremely easy to drink and love.

Dreadnaught33, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of Cozzatoad
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the opportunity to drink this beer at a local beer bar, and despite it's 12€€ price i decided to taste it. It was sure worth the money. 330ml bottle obviously

A- An intense dark burgundy. Head is not big but is extremely dense and shows great retention and lacing

S- Very big but not at all arrogant malty aroma. Malts are on the bread side, but a strong and rich alcohol smell, that is perfectly matched with yeast sweetness to avoid excessive spiciness, brings more complexity. Some dark fruits and prune notes add to the amazing mix

T- After such a complex aroma you may expect a letdown in taste. This is not the case, it's all there. The beer has a strong malty taste as the smell suggested, and this time you may also find some chocolate and liquorice notes underneath. The fruity notes are stronger than in the aroma, with prune and dark fruits as suggested. Alcohol is to be felt, but it has that awesome delicate spicy character that brings even more complexity. The end is dry and cleans the mouth, and leaves you demanding for more. What is amazing with such a great range of flavours is that they are all in the right place at the right time

M- Quite strong body for 8%ABV but still an amazingly smooth creamy feel. A delicate crispness brings some freshness, or otherwise the beer would start feeling heavy

D- Every sip demands another. The beer is amazingly rich, but it leaves a light, sweet and clean aftertaste that leaves room for more and more sips. I finished this much quicker than i would ever expect for an 8%ABV

All so rich and powerful but still so delicate. This is a beer that nears perfection

Cozzatoad, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of jbonapar
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm shocked that I'm actually reviewing this beer. Purchased at Pub Italia in Ottawa, i can't believe they have some.

Appearance: Full carbonation with a wonderfully thick head. Almost cream like.

Smell: Sweet tart granny smith apple (as mentioned by others) almost cider like with some thick sour-dough bread maltiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A wonderfully sour crispness blends with a creamy phenol and spiced flavor. Hard to put a name on what I sense. Very complex, almost like a double with hints of a lambic. Very very mild wild yeast overtones. Sourness drifts away into a bitter bite that ends crisp, just like it began

Overall, i like and see why this brewery is known for their complex beers. I hope i get to try the 12 next time.

jbonapar, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Liverpool08
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark murky reddish brown, not much head at all. Aromas of dried fruits, brown sugar, caramel. Flavor follows with raisins, dates, sweet port, and lots of other delicious notes. Each sip brings all of these to the front of your tastebuds. Its also a very light and crisp Dubbel. VERY drinkible. While not quite as good as the Westy 12, still an outstanding beer.

Liverpool08, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 3/15/2011

Appearance: murky dark brown, with a 1 finger off-white head, opaque, lacing, but disappears quickly

Smell: dark fruits, sour, tart, and sweet, smells of red-wine or sherry

Taste: fruity-dark fruits and cherries, sweet, yet tart, got a hint of something perfumey on the back end

Mouthfeel: very mild carbonation, almost flat, thick body

Drinkability: a good representation for the style, however, I would prefer a good dubbel with easier access.


THECPJ, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of maximum12
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wyoming for a bottle of this brew, the guy who sends me all sorts of crazy stuff from the plains. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to crack open this bottle. Celebrating the return of winter to MN, yeah, that's why.

Once popped, the foam slowly rises out of the neck. Pour is bark brown with lighter brown flairing out at the edges. Smells of figs, raisins, bootleg booze. An almost sherry-like quality underpins the aroma.

Westy 8 is a beaut. The sherry in the nose carries over strongly, as a decadent, after-dinner, fruity taste that seems more appropriate to a 3 oz. snifter. More of the dark fruits noted in the nose, plus banana, candied sugar, baking spices. End with a tingly overcarbonation. Makes the beer lighter on its feet, but it's goosed enough to be distracting & a bit on the fizzy side. On the other other, probably raises the drinkability quotient. I find it in my mouth quite often, like, after every other sentence or so. I do need my strength.

Excellent beer. I hate comparing, but this is much better than the blonde & pretty damn close to being as good as the 12. Fruity, light, drinkable, & different enough from your run-o-the-mill dubbel to put it at the head of the class. I can see why this is highly sought after.

maximum12, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of OldEngineOil
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent beer. Subtle and complex, but overall flavor did not jump out as exceptional enough to justify the ranking to me. I am new to the Belgian beer scene, but personally, I prefer to buy one of the good North American made Belgian style beers over this.

OldEngineOil, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle stamped 29.09.10. I'm guessing that means this is an 07 vintage.

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color which is completely opaque with a one finger off-white head that slowly fades into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Spicy, estery aroma with lots of vinous dark fruit, zesty pepper and earthy hops. Complex nose with lots of plum, grape, raisin, fig, date and dark cherry. This is complimented by a nice roasted malt presence with hints of chocolate and caramel and subtle earthy pine. Peppery with coriander as well as hints of yeast/bread, sweet alcohol phenol and licorice.

Medium bodied with a prominent spicy and hoppy flavor that lingers over the roasted malt body and sweet dark fruit notes into a dry finish. Dry, earthy and slightly bitter with some piny hop flavor which is complimented by the zesty, peppery spice. This is countered mid palate by a slightly roasted chocolate malt backbone with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit and licorice. Hints of slightly chalky, bready yeast add complexity and fullness to the body. Toward the end of the swallow there is a very prominent vinous dark fruit flavor with hints of fig, raisin, plum, grape and dark cherry. The hops have held up surprisingly well and are very prominent in the flavor profile. The malt and dark fruit notes are enhanced as it warms, balancing things out a bit. ABV is excellently masked with subtle alcohol sweetness but no heat whatsoever making this pretty quaffable.

Overall, this beer is one of the most interesting trappist beers I've had. It's well balanced but much hoppier than any Belgian beer(in this style) that I have encountered. The malt and dark fruit notes really start to shine as it warms so I highly recommend drinking it at cellar temperature or letting it warm up considerably to enjoy it at it's fullest potential. Not as complex, flavorful or easy to drink as the 12 but it's still pretty good.

corby112, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours dark, hazy chestnut color with a thick off white head.

S-Very fruity with notes of pear and apple, maybe just a hint of dark fruits. There was also some alcohol and chocolate present on the nose.

T-Like the nose, fresh fruits such as apple/pear, a hint of chocolate and dark fruits as well. The Belgian yeast is present and it is a little on the sweet side. It is very delicious.

M-Thick with a little carbonation. It really has a nice body to it.

D-Complex and delicious with a just above average abv. make this an enjoyable ale to savor. It is not too heavy so one could enjoy a few bottles in a session.

Overall, this is a truly great beer and very unique. It tasted much fruitier and light than I expected. I really appreciate my friend for sharing part of a bottle with me. Truly a great beer drinking experience and I hope to get some for myself in the future.

thegodfather2701, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of cpmichael
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle in October of 2010
paired beside a Chimay Red, Westmalle Dubbel, Rochefort 8

A: Pours a dark brown with a hint of reddish tint to it, a small white foam quickly dissipates after pour is finished.

S: Smells like a Belgian. As with most trappist beers, it has that belgian yeast quality to it, it also has some fruity scents, with apple being most prevalent.

T: Surprisingly, a plum-like flavor is most noticeable to me, with some apple in there as well. It finishes with a sweet maltiness to it.

M/D. This beer was pretty light on carbonation, but was still really smooth as it finished.

cpmichael, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle as part of Westy Wednesday at Volo. Served in a flute.

Poured a dark maroon, opaque with a finger or two of off-white head. Nose of sharp alcohol initially, but then some raisin, ripe green apple skin, ripe plums and some date appears. Taste kicks off with a quick glimpse of the alcohol on the palate, mixed with some stone fruits. Light apple comes through again, hints of brown sugar, vanilla. Alcohol present and prevalent throughout each sip, but only adds to the complexity of this. Light tannic finish. Warming mouthfeel, great body with a finish that lingers forever. Solid drinkability, and an exceptional beer. Best dubbel I've ever had.

liamt07, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of bonkers
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recieved this in a recent trade, poured into a goblet from an 11.2 ounce bottle. Pours a murky brown, huge 4 finger head, that leaves nice lacing. Dark fruit is primary on the nose, some spices. The flavors of plums, dates and apples meld very nicely, not overly sweet. The beer is very smooth, it has a slightly sweet finish. The body is medium, smooth, well carbonated. A very smooth, easy drinking beer, I can see why it is a classic.

bonkers, Feb 23, 2011
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,675 ratings.