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

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

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1,747 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,747
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,243
Gots: 274 | FT: 16
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)
View: Beers (3) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,747 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeedKing4
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeffo for this bottle.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a finger or two of foam in the Maredsous chalice glass. Tastes of bready/biscuit like malts, with a slight dark fruit finish to it. The 8% is masked very well and it drinks down very smooth. Would be nice if Westvleteren beers were more accessable.

Photo of msfoster77
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was awesome. In my opinion this is better than the twelve.

Pours a dark brown with a red tinge. The head lingers and has great lacing.

The smell is complex, yeasty, and sweet with a little bit of booze. It is really quite a unique smell.

The taste is crazy complex. It is semisweet and bready, but the carbonation makes it lighter than you would think. It has a great mouth feel and it warms your whole body as you drink it.

This is an incredible beer. I have one stored away for a good day and I can't wait to drink it with a little age on it.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Prufrock [in a BIF no less]...many, many thanks to you Dan! A slow gusher here, so beware and have the glassware at the ready. Pours dark brown with a fluffed, off-white head. Retention and lacing are fairly decent.

Nose is an amazing blend of sourdough bread and raspberry fruitiness. So deep is the bready aspect, I thought I was drinking a loaf of dark brown bread. Caramel maltiness lends some sweetness. Wow, just an amazing smelling brew.

Toasty, deep sweetbread with a zesty yeast bite. Not hoppy, but has a drying effect similar to a spiced winter warmer. A unique, bready belgian beer that I would happily buy again were it more readily available. The questability and rarity of the beer is a bit of a turnoff for me though to actively seek out. Thanks again Dan, I really enjoyed it.

Photo of zhanson88
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Westy 8 pours out a dark ruby color, clear initially but it grows hazier toward the bottom due to the yeast present at the bottom of the bottle. About 2.5" of very light tan head forms, that (not unexpectedly) has great retention and lacing. Very well crafted beer.

Smell: Lots of dark fruits are apparent immediately. A bit of candied sugar as well, and some yeastiness. A lot of great esters show as's been a while since I've had a quality Belgian. The esters are always one of my favorite parts.

Taste: Dark fruits and candied sugar come to mind immediately when I take a sip. A bit of yeastiness as well, and a nice estery kick at the end. Extremely tasty....this is without doubt the best dubbel I have had.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light mouthfeel....but the carbonation is so fine and so abundant that it results in a pillowy mouthfeel. Very nice. Overall, like I said, the far and away the best dubbel I have ever had. Many dubbels come across as yeast and wet cardboard to me, but this beer does much more than that. Extremely impressive.

Photo of drowland
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/25/11. Bottle courtesy joes! Hazy deep brown pour with a small fizzy tan head that’s gone fast. Malty aroma with yeast, caramel, and a hint of mint. Reminds of me of a ligher version of 12... Grapey, yeasty, smooth, caramel, and loveliness. You can tell that these beers are very well made. Nice!

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well this is it - finally get to try some Westy! I'll try to keep my expectations in check and to block out the (impressive) hype that this beer has generated, but yeah, I'm pretty stoked about this!

Single bottle courtesy of Jeffo as part of the Great Ontarian Westy Trade of 2011. Cheers and many thanks Jeff for bringing a crate of this back to Canada to share with some eager BAs!

Poured into a Chimay goblet to show some trappist solidarity, shared with my wife as part of our anniversary celebrations. A tawny, cherry-juice coloured brew, which admittedly is not that much to look at. Big frothy head though, with some lovely visible bubbles along the side. Thin ring survives.

And then you smell it...

I don't want to exaggerate, but the nose on this...kind of a big deal. Delicious to the point where I would probably pay to sniff a recently-used glass. Lightly browned sugar, port, brandy, raisin, grape, a bit of earth and
spices combine to make something truly special.

The taste is every bit as wonderful as the nose suggested it would be. Port and dark fruit, a lovely sugary sweetness, but with a firm malt background and enough hops to provide a light finishing bitterness. Coffee or chocolate make appearances somewhere near the finish. The finest dubbel I have as yet come across.

After a quick carbonation burnoff, the brew takes on a terrific mouthfeel, with lovely easy carbonation and a moderate body which coats the tongue well. A lasting bitter finish.

Sublime. I'm not going to make any bold statements about this beer's status as the "best ever" (I haven't opened the 12 yet!), but rest assured this brew is certainly worthy of the hype and is certainly amongst the very best brews the world can offer. Worth navigating the tricky ordering process (or better yet, a fortuitous trade!) Truly fantastic stuff, and I really wish I had more of this.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried the evening after my bottle of Westvleteren 12, and a couple of days before my bottle of Westvleteren Blond.

Pours a hazed reddish brown colour, beautifully bright and gradiented when held to light. The head, just like the 12, is insanely fine and creamy. It's an absolutely crowning joy, leaving thick sheeting lace down the inside of the glass. Carbonation is extremely fine. Again, the body is lighter than expected, but overall, this is a magnificent looking beer. I'd have to say with the brilliant gemlike colouring, this looks even better than the 12. Just phenomenal.

Nose is mild and hazed with subtle conflicting flavours. certainly hints of booze, along with hot popcorn, resin, red grape skin, quite tannic and tight, and very little residual sweetness. Nice.

On the palate, the tannic red wine comes through more, and the lack of sweetness becomes more prominent. It gains a sharp, almost raw tobacco character, with a lingering bitterness. There's a creamy feel from the brilliantly fine carbonation, but I genuinely feel I'd like more sweetness. Still, the complexity of the dark tannins is impressive, and it is pleasantly sharp and refined.

Another cracking Belgian from the little masters, and another beer worthy of seeking out. I was thoughtful I might like this even better than the 12, being as though the Dubbel is a particular favourite of mine, but there's no doubting the superiority of the Quad. This was a stellar beer; the 12 was phenomenal.

Photo of ajsdad06
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle shared with tasting group (approx. 10 year old bottle):

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber color with some floaties and a beautiful large fluffy beige head.

The aroma on this is something to savor. Big candy like sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, port, slightly oxidized but not in a bad way, and dark fruit. I had to pause and take all of this in for a moment.

The flavor is first class as well. There was some consensus with my tasting group that this was even better than the Westy 12 we had tasted earlier. It has a very sugary caramel maltiness , vinous and port-like, multiple fruits: plum, dates, black cherry, all well integrated with each other. The alcohol is non existent which makes this dangerous if I had more around.

Mouthfeel is medium full and silky smooth. This was a real treat picked up in an early trade with alldaydrinker. I would rate this slightly higher than the Westy 12.

Photo of HopBacchus
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a Murky Brown with a thin layer of sidement that initially floats on top of the toffee heady before it makes its way to the bottom of the glass. Complex and varying bubbles. Head is large at first and subsides to a thin creamy layer, excellent cascading lace.

Dark roasted malts, raisins, pepper, spirits and chocolate

Body follows the nose, sumptuous roasted malts, syrupy sweet raisins chocolate and a host of belgian spices, coriander, orange peel and pepper, also present is a bitter dryness reminiscent of dry sherry

Medium to full bodied and creamy with complex carbonation, exceptional

A fantastic beer, best dubbel to date, no surprise its a westy!!

Photo of 05Harley
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008

Purchased through Cracked Kettle, Netherlands

Price - $13.49/33cl bottle (U.S.)

Pours with a two inch soapy white head and legs that crawl all over the side of the chalice. The beer is burgundy in color with a hazey appearance. Highly carbonated with streams of bubbles throughout the glass. Chunks of yeast appear as you near the end of the bottle.

The nose is rich with dark fruit, pears, chocolate and candy sugar. The sweet smell of fruit is refreshing and not bitter. As the beer warms you can pick up the yeast aroma.

The flavor isn't as sweet as the nose would imply. Belgian yeast, malt, dark fruit, spices and hops.

The mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a medium body. Has plenty of carbonation without going overboard. Some earthy hops add some bitterness and dry feel to the finish.

Overall a pretty good beer. I'm not sure if I'll continue to dish out the high dollars for it though. I know of one competitor that is just as good if not better and I can purchase it right off the shelf. Still a pleasure to have.

Photo of impending
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours an opaque dirty ruddy chestnut, dense middlin creamy tan head subsides slowly, ok lacing.

Aroma is sweet spiced figgy goodness with phenolic undertones, it's happy, it's delicious.

Taste echos the nose except the phenols which ride the length of the flavor are much stronger. Aftertaste begins a bit dry with just a tiny grape skin bitter atop yeasty grains, long lasting. Medium bodied prickly yet creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for bringin this along with a Westy 12! Pours a murky brown color with a medium tan-white head that sticks around for a bit. Scent is full of dark fruit with a bit of a sour apple aroma. Not nearly as much going on as the 12 has. Taste initially a tart green apple flavor which is immediately followed with a lot of lovely chocolate flavors. Dark fruits and a bit of spiciness as well. Well balanced. Mouthfeel is very dry, possibly one of the most dry dubbels I've had, which is not a bad thing at all. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is probably the best dubble I've ever had. I do enjoy the Quads and Tripels more, but this is great for what it is. Very tasty beer!

Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Purchased and consumed in Brussels.
Cap date: 08.10.13

A: pours a beautiful hazelnut ale with exceptional clarity. 2 fingers of peanut skin skIn foam falls soo slow and even then leaves a wonderful stack of quilted equivalence of the same. Near sheet lacing.

S: first thought: buttered popcorn and vanilla beans. As it warms some praline, raisin come thru, but nothing to save it.

T: alcohol is very forward here. Solvent. Some graham, dark prunes, but the alcohol is very evident. Not impressed.

M: creamy as fuck. Great resonance and the finish is silken. Really like the feel here. The carbonation is immediate, passive and constant. It's really fine bubbles that create the exceptional feel.

O: not the worst dubbel I've had, where it disappoints is in the wrong places.

Photo of BDTyre
3.85/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour matches the bottle...brown. Creamy, khaki head. Dense, billowy but not too big. Raisins, candi sugar, caramel and brandy.

Malty, candi sugar and light citrus hops. Raisins, bread and caramel. A light alcohol burn. Mild carbonation, a nice sipper. A very enjoyable beer even with the alcohol burn.

Photo of chickenm
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with some sediment. The off-white head has great retention, leaves a little lacing. Very fruity aroma with pears, apples & dark fruits, candi sugar, and spices. Smells really nice! Tastes of dark fruit, malt, spices, and earthy hops. Extremely smooth mouthfeel, the carbonation is perfect. Slightly dry. Overall it's a wonderful beer, probably the best dubbel I've tried!

Photo of heterotopia
3.95/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A gift my boyfriend brought back for me from Belgium.

A: Like the bottle that contains it, the color was nothing of note -- translucent chestnut color that many beers of its kind have.

S: The smell was delightful, of flan (a type of custard found in Spanish speaking countries). It was intoxicating.

T: Nutella and flan were the prominent flavors. The undertones were subtle jams and gentle bitterness.

M: Light, smooth and slightly creamy.

O: It's a light version of St. Bernardus 8, which I favor over Westvleteren 8. Way too much hype. It's a great dubbel, but there are better ones out there.

Still, it's much better than Westvleteren 12.

Photo of woosterbill
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to my buddy Jim for sharing this with me, my first Westvleteren.

A: Clear, deep ruby body under a perfect inch of eminently creamy tan foam. The lovely head slowly collapses into a solid cap, leaving some nice chunks of foam. A swirl reignites things easily, leaving more lace each time. Beautiful brew.

S: Sweet, fruity, and amazing. Creme bruleé toastiness, caramel, port, raisin, date, and chocolate. Complex, delicate, and incredibly smooth. Fantastic.

T: Lots of raisin, lots of caramel. Sweet candied plum. Chocolate on the finish. Delicious, but not quite as complex or delicate as the incredible nose.

M: Soft, creamy, and moderately charged with the most delicate bubbles imaginable. Perfect.

O: I'm giving this one a strong A+, but part of that is the style: this is head and shoulders above any Dubbel I've ever tried, and it just does everything that one could ask a Dubbel to do - based largely on the Westvleteren mystique, though, I expected it to do something more. Perhaps it was impossible not to be disappointed. All expectations aside, the beer is terrific, and the pairing of it with a delicious Neuhaus chocolate was, in a word, divine.


Photo of mcguirmn
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

Appearance: Pours a nice, dark color with a thick, creamy head.

Smell: At first, it smells like a sour-dough bread (just like Westvleteren 12). Then you notice other fruits in the smell. I also noticed hints of chocolate.

Taste: Definitely 1st class. Extremely delicious. I actually enjoyed this more than Westvleteren 12. Definitely a noticeable hop presence, but it is complemented by dark fruits. I drank this much faster than I expected to -- given its 8% ABV. The beer definitely masks the strong alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: No complaints. Just enough carbonation. A nice medium body.

Overall: If it was more readily accessible, I would drink this fine beer daily. If you have a chance to buy it, DO IT.

Photo of kojevergas
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
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 barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark, hazy chestnut color with a nice fluffy head.

S: Very fruity, mix of dark and lighter fruits, sugary sweet

T: Fresh fruits such as apple, pears, grapes, figs. Also has a feel light overripe fruits. Caramel and sugary sweetness

M: Well carbonated and nice body

O: Complex and delicious beer all the wy around. World class and phenom dubbel.

Photo of Mavajo
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown body with a cream head. Aroma and taste of caramel, dark fruits, candied sugar, yeast -- very much on the sweet side and easy drinking. Good slick mouthfeel. Carbonation on the light side.

Excellent dubbel - probably the best I've ever had.

Photo of monsterzero
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into an Element taster. Props to gn0sis for sharing this one during a mini-tasting at Pat's Liquors.

A: Deep, dark, muddy mahogany color with a nice ruby tint. Creamy almond-colored head.

S: Cave water. This one really took me back to a tour that I was on of Howe Caverns many years ago. Also got raisins, figs, plums, dark sweet malts and some floral notes.

T: Mostly the same as the smell with some yeast flavor and slight bitterness. Alcohol is well masked but the warmth is noticeable during the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with good carbonation. Smooth, silky and creamy.

O: I have severely underestimated Westvleteren and I will be sure to seek out as much of this as possible. This one is definitely the benchmark that I will be comparing all dubbels to.. until something else blows me away of course.

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.

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.

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.

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,747 ratings.