Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 1,632 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +3.1%
Pours a semi-cloudy dark amber with a crackling bright white head, huge poof even with a very gentle pour, lots of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma is yeasty with a very light fruit ester, some warmer malt comes through as it warms up.
Flavor is...well damn this is the best dubbel ive ever had. dark fruit and malt meld really well with a suprising amount of alcohol that isnt tasted in the mouth but I can definetly feel in the chest. All of the flavors simply meld amazingly well.
As I said this really has redefined the style for me, one thing that normally bugs me about dubbels is some feel really thin in the mouth, where this really fills it up and is solid through the sip.
08-03-2010 17:28:41 | More by SShelly
4.35/5 rDev -3.1%
Again, many thanks to Brabander!
I got to try this beer next to its big brother (Westy 12), and I can understand why some prefer it to the 12. However, in my opinion, I would take the 12 any day of the week.
The flavors are right there with the 12. A great toffee, caramel, raisin sweetness. This is definitely dangerous, as I could drink this all night without even thinking about the 8% abv.
One thing that hurt the beer just a tad is the amount of carbonation. Just a little too much, as this beer was very fresh. I have another one in my cellar, so I am anxious to see how it turns out. If it is anything near the 3 year old Westy 12 I had, I am in for a treat.
08-03-2010 01:10:09 | More by DeutschesBier
District of Columbia
5/5 rDev +11.4%
Bottle shared with drabmuh at my place recently. Review from notes.
Bottle cap dated 01.04.13
A: This trappist ale appears a dark brown color with a substantial head and generous amount of lacing on the glass. Looks very nice.
S: This beer begins to distance itself from other dubbels right away. The aroma is simply fantastic. The Belgian yeast component alone is one of the most inviting and delectable scents I have yet found in a beer.
T: The flavor is incredible. Toffee and caramels amongst the best Belgian yeast strain on the planet. I can't imagine a single way that this beer could possibly improve. So many flavors constantly developing on the palate, all flowing seamlessly together in a work of art, this is a sublime elixir. The conclusion of every drink begs for the onset of another.
M: The feel is yet another flawless aspect of this beer. It's so smooth, it feels like water, yet coats the palate with a myriad of wonderful flavors that evolve from the moment your nose initially detects the beer.
D: I could, and would, drink this beer very regularly, if only that were possible. This is a truly special beer and absolutely worthy of any and all praises.
08-02-2010 04:48:14 | More by Huhzubendah
4.65/5 rDev +3.6%
Big thanks to billinlafayette for this one! Dated 29.09.09 on cap. Served from bottle into a McChouffe goblet. Pours a dark brown with one finger off white head that contains a dusting of brown sediment on the top. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of mat, fruit, alcohol, and citrus. The flavor is of big fruit, alcohol, malt, and a smooth creamy followthrough. It is medium on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew is phenomenal. I was expecting it to be good, but wow... The aroma and flavor of this brew is beautiful. Definitely the best of this style I have had to date. Believe the hype people!
07-31-2010 20:59:39 | More by thagr81us
4.4/5 rDev -2%
Big thanks to alcstradamus for this one. Finally got around to it! Dated 1.11.11 on a blue cap. Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a La Trappe goblet and shared with schen9303.
A: The cap opens with a hiss and this one turns out to be a slow gusher. Suffice to say I was left licking Westy8 off my hands and table. Pours a 2 finger brownish-off-white semi-coarse, frothy head with great retention. Beer is a slightly cloudy, dark, purplish-brown. Lacing is patchy and ample with great stick.
S: Smell is of nuttiness, purple grape gummies, vanilla, sweet brown sugar, clove, and a touch of Belgian yeast spiciness. Aromas are very rich overall and complement each other well.
T: Opens grape, slightly yeasty bitterness in the back, clove, brown sugar, cinnamon, gummy. Taste is very dense. Middle is prunes and plum. Good balance. Clove becomes more apparent at the middle, end. Finish is a bit dry with a spicy, yeasty aftertaste.
M: Medium bodied with low carbonation, smooth, and a bit watery. Dry towards the end with a dry finish. Aftertaste is messy and dense.
D: Super solid Belgian with incredible balance in both aroma and flavor. This one is very drinkable with a feel that is smooth and really serves to both meld and separate the complexities of this beer. Worth the trouble without a doubt!
07-31-2010 13:21:32 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.72/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to Brabander for this great treat.
A - Pours a very nice hazy mahogany with some nice sediment and a nice 0.75 inch head. THe head is nice and light tan colored with good density and recedes to a nice little mat with some lacing along the sides. Im already enjoying this brew.
S - Starts off with very good sweetness and some nice fruit aromas. Apples, pears and some nice vinous characteristics. Mild yeasty and bready character as well and some mild phenols Very yummy.
T - Starts off with a nice sweet almost cinammon-breadbready flavors. Very nice malt sweetness with some good spice and great yeasty phenols. Some nice dark fruit sweetness almost like apple/cinnamon. There is some nice mild hop character and bitterness on the back end but its not too present.
M & D - Very nice crisp and dry. Great fluffy mouthfeel with almost perfect CO2 content. Good full body with great overall flavors. I would drink this all day, everyday even with the ABV.
07-31-2010 01:04:07 | More by JoEBoBpr
4.47/5 rDev -0.4%
A: pours dark orange brown with huge head - fine foamy bubbles that leave exceptional lacing
S: Banana and apricot fruits, Dandelion florals and a bit of candi sugar. Lavender later.
T: Tons of flavor, sweet molasses, currants, figs - a sipper if only to milk each fruity bit of deliciousness. Hint of licorice at the end. Dry trappist yeast finish. Subtle hop aftertaste.
M: Smooth and thick. This was a bit overcarbonated. Creamy bubbles hid the body.
D: Very slow drinking - this became cloyingly warm halfway through and burps very hot. A great beer with tons of flavor, but I'd rather not have more than one in a sitting.
Best estimate is that this is a sweeter version of a Westmalle Double. Undated bottle, assumed to be brewed in '09. Had at Cafe Gollem in mid-May.
07-28-2010 15:55:22 | More by pitasoup
4.97/5 rDev +10.7%
This beer looked the part, smelled the part, and tasted the part.
A: brownish, nice head, milled my glass nicely
s: amazing, fruit, grain, maltiness, esters
T: This is where the beer jumped out of the glass and into my mouth. Tasted amazing; how could a beer made so simply be so amazing? 500 years of flavor. Fruits, Malts, Sweetness.
M: Light, Crisp, Refreshing
07-26-2010 01:58:42 | More by Donerik
4.22/5 rDev -6%
33 cl bottel poured in my westvleteren glass
A- Pours a murky dark brown with a nice head. Retention was very nice and followed the brew all the way down the glass.
S- Pretty complex . Malty, plums, figs, raisins, brown sugar smell, nuts and as it warmed up .
T- Just like the nose very complex. Sweet up front, raisin, plums and figs Caramel/toffee malts are sweet and very powerful. Toasted nut flavors emerge more as the brew warms. I can not pick up any alcohol .
M- Full body, great amount of carbonation, creamy and smooth
D- Wow very awesome. I think I could drink this one all day long!
07-25-2010 15:04:09 | More by beerpirates
4/5 rDev -10.9%
Received in a trade with JW347 on 1/12/2008. The cap reads 09.03.10., which I believe means it was bottled in March of 2007, making it three and a half years old. Stored at 55 degrees since I received it.
Poured into my Bruery snifter. Dark brown with a crimson tinge. The head is one inch and quite frothy, with adequate retention and a little lacing.
Redolent of dried dates, plums, and raisins, the aroma displays a moderate malt sweetness with toasted notes. Light oxidation is evident and alcohol is soft. I detect candied sugar and Belgian yeast. As the beer warms up toward room temperature, I get notes of cherries and a dash of chocolate.
The flavor is more alcoholic than the nose suggested. I can taste every basis point of the 8.00%. It tastes of sweet bready malt and dried dark fruits such as dates and plums. The finish has a candied sugar quality. Malt sweetness and dark fruits linger.
Upper medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation and some alcohol warming. An enjoyable Dubbel.
07-24-2010 03:11:19 | More by HopHead84
3.7/5 rDev -17.6%
On a recent travel to Belgium, I smuggled home some Westy 8 and 12. Both of them are wonderful on tap and about 15% different in the bottle.
At In de Vrede, I tried all three Westy beers, the blonde is nothing special, the 8 is exceptional and the 12 is very good. Since most consider the 8 a double, I will rate it as such. Typically, doubles have a fairly alcoholic flavor, which the westy 8 discretely masks. Westy 8 has a fair amount of chocolate/roasty notes, while still being very light and digestible. Its aroma is extremely clean with just a hint of fruity esters. The finish is very pleasant and moderately dry, and although you know you are drinking a hefty beer, it is not overwhelming.
I find Westy 8 to be the finest offering by this Trappist Monestary and one of the best examples of the belgian double style around.
07-16-2010 22:07:31 | More by sheikyerbouti
4.72/5 rDev +5.1%
330 ml bottle, bought at Voldby Købmandsgård, Denmark. ABV is 8%. Cloudy dark brown colour, huge and lasting beige head. Aroma of wood, dark fruits and spices, hints of leather. Outstanding flavour with oaky and vinous notes, also notes of dark candi sugar and dark dried fruits. Fairly sweet, moderate hops in the finish. Expensive, but worth it.
07-16-2010 21:48:59 | More by Sigmund
4.38/5 rDev -2.4%
12 oz. bottle (courtesy of Brabander, who has been so generous to so MANY of us) into a chalice.
Pours a dark brown with a reddish tint where light penetrates. Head was massive on the pour but settled to a skim of frothy, eggshell white. Nose is, at first bombarded by sweetness with raisins, cherries, toffee, bready yeast, brown sugar, molasses. Taste is rum, raisins, grape, caramel. Tartness comes in and the finish is a complex interplay - sweet, sour, dry. There is a nice alcohol warming as well. This beer is highly carbonated at the start but calms as it warms. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy and almost chewy, coating the tongue but very pleasantly. I am not a huge fan of Dubbels, but this truly is an exemplary beer. If you can get it, you must.
07-15-2010 01:09:33 | More by regspeir
5/5 rDev +11.4%
Best before date is 06.03.12 or June 3rd, 2012.
Pours a dark amber, close to brown color with a huge, foamy, off white to tan head. Great retention and lacing. An absolutely gorgeous beer. The aroma has caramel, apples, pears, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Just a wonderful aroma.
The taste is out of this world. Apples, caramel, pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, as well as several spices I am not able to pick out. This drinks like a dream.
Between medium and full bodied, smooth, easy to drink, with perfect carbonation. Try as hard as I can, I cannot find a flaw with this beer. This is so drinkable it is insane. The 8.00 % alcohol is perfectly hidden. There is nothing more to say, except that this is a perfect beer.
07-04-2010 20:26:52 | More by hardy008
3.95/5 rDev -12%
Pours a dark burnt caramel color with a thin off white head.
Smell is complex with big yeasty notes and a touch of golden raisin. However whats somewhat off putting is a a funky urea smell.
Tastes fairly malt forward with caramel and raisin notes coming forward with backnotes of the funky belgian yeast and finishes pear sweet.
Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with an extremely smooth carbonation.
Overall I'm not blown away by this beer especially when it comes so highly rated. It is a solid example of the style with some funky Trappist notes.
07-01-2010 23:39:19 | More by UA8
4.28/5 rDev -4.7%
served in my duvel tulip. pours a murky mahogany brown. wonderful foamy head amplified by the glass. tart nose of fruits (blueberry, rhubarb) and yeast. some off notes of sharp funky yeasts. reminiscent of urinal cake. tastes of dark bread, maple, and fig. rather underwhelming in terms of tastes. mouthfeel is soft, almost creamy and delightfully under-carbonated. incredibly drinkable.
07-01-2010 23:28:54 | More by imagineiii
3.95/5 rDev -12%
Long night in the office punching in some waypoints for our upcoming Idaho backpacking trip. What better way to prepare than to pop a Westy 8. 28.09.11 on the cap, so this one has been sitting in my basement for nearly a year and a half. I pull out a couple a year or so. I think I have determined that I enjoy the 8 more when it is young, as opposed to the 12 which I find to be the best about 3 years in. I'm not a huge fan of the Westy 8, although I still enjoy them - however, worthy of a review, of course.
Lots of sediment in the bottom so I took my time pouring into my Westvleteren chalice. Caramel colored brown with a very nice light sandy head. Settles about one centimeter high and has left an impressive amount of thick lace on the side. This continues throughout the beer.
Fair amount of varying smells going on here. I think time has increased the amount of apple on the nose, as it is easily the most dominant smell in the glass. There is also a decent amount of spiciness coming out as well as some sweetness - raisins and caramel.
Taste is also moved toward the apple fruitiness with the addition of the same sweetness I get on the nose. Definitely caramel, in addition to sweet raisins. Even a bit of honey. This bottle has a bit more bitterness at the finish which usually isn't as prominent. It's also significantly more dry than when consumed fresh. I can already sense that my numbers are going to be a bit lower than with a fresh bottle. I promise to re-review it the next time I open a fresh one. The mouthfeel is still as impressive as always. Smooth, velvety, medium-bodied with perhaps just a touch too much carbonation. The tastes is still just extremely complex. There is a ton going on in there and as I near the end and finish my warmed brew, there is a noticeable increase in a chocolatey and spicy component. The alcohol is a bit more noticeable as well.
I know this beer is chosen by many as the best of the Westvleteren beers. I still gotta go with a nice aged Westy 12. While this is certainly a good brew, I don't think it quite matches the uniqueness or complexity of their quadruple. Easy to drink, unfortunately it's never much more than 11 ounces when given the opportunity. One of these days we'll make it over to Belgium again and review it in quantity from the source!
06-20-2010 04:15:50 | More by hayesez
4.1/5 rDev -8.7%
11.2 oz bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. 15.09.07 on the cap, which I imagine means "best by 9.15.07" -- We'll see how it lasted. Purchased for $9.95 about five or six years ago.
Appearance: Dark and cloudy brown / amber -- almost like a black and tan with dark brown on the top and the dark but lighter semi-cloudy amber color on the bottom. Lacing leaves a lot of thick and slowly dissipating drops of off-white sticking to the sides of the glass.
Smell: The first thing I think of is honey-covered or golden raisins soaked in red wine. There are aromas of sour apples and almost barrel sourness like a Flemish Red. There's a healthy dose of earthiness that's almost like moss without the phenolic nature to it. Candi sugar or rock candy sweetness is definitely there, along with hints of sweet tobacco and tree bark. Very complex and nuanced overall.
Taste: Initial hints of earthy sweetness, figs, prunes, raisins, a bit of sweet tobacco, black magic marker. Mild citrus hops on the back end. A good balance of darker sweet fruits also. Dark cherries definitely, maybe honey-soaked. And there's a bit of a rhubarb pie component, weirdly enough -- with its earthiness, mild sourness, and sweetness going on, sometimes at the same time. Lingering dark fruits with mild citrus hops and yeast.
Mouthfeel: Initially somewhat watery but the carbonation comes very quickly, balancing things and adding some champagne-like bubbles to the mix (which isn't surprising considering the massive amount of yeast resting at the bottom of the bottle).
Drinkability: I expected this, as one may assume, to be pretty amazing. And though it was good and I enjoyed it, I've had better and more complex and nuanced Dubbels in the past. Did I wait too long, since I've had the bottle for five years or more? I thought this would keep for many more years. I'm glad I finally tried it and waited, but I was hoping for more. It just feels like it's a shadow of its former self, in some ways, or that it's lost a step. Maybe someday I'll get to try a 12.
06-16-2010 21:11:44 | More by asabreed
4.13/5 rDev -8%
Pours a chocolate murky brown haze with an off white foam head. Is less creamy and the alcohol comes through more than with it's 12 brethren. Sweet up front. Dark fruit throughout. Nice chocolate notes on the back end. Has a Dry sweet finish. Very nice beer.
06-16-2010 02:40:21 | More by chalsk
4.53/5 rDev +0.9%
Split a single bottle with my roommates, Zach and Jorge, in honor of their graduation from college. Congrats guys!
Best before December 5, 2011 (listed as 05.12.11 on cap).
Poured into a Chimay goblet.
Appearance: Hefty carbonation created a near foam-over after I popped the cap. A slow, straight-up pour yielded a thick stack of tan foam. After a minute or so, the head descended to a 1/4 inch, uniform, foamy top; it maintained that form for the duration of the session. Body is murky and loaded with sediment; very low visibility, even when held to light. With that said, I do like the color of the body: bright amber-brown.
Smell: Purple grapes, plums, strawberries, and maybe some brown sugar (sprinkled on top). Hops add a mild, leafy, and maybe even minty, aspect. Crisp and sweet, very fruity, and balanced. The mix of aromas balance beautifully.
Taste: Follows the smell very closely: a medley of fruit flavors work together harmoniously; but this time with earth and leather round out the finish. I definitely get more molasses in the taste also. Nicely put together. Not as stunning as the smell, but close.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, spicy, and dry. Aftertaste is mild, prickly, and a bit astringent. Not gritty or hot. Not really chewy either.
Drinkability: Tons of complexity from start to finish. Easily one of the top dubbels out there.
06-15-2010 19:56:23 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.72/5 rDev +5.1%
appearance: dark brown in color with lots of holding head, great lacing
smell: very herby and spicy aromas, some caramel sweet candy aromas
taste: sublte sweetness with some nice dark fruits notes, the most complex belgian I have ever had. raisin, anisem and other spicy flavors very present.
mouthfeel: medium bodied
drinkability: Super impressed. worth the anticipation, but maybe not the price.
06-14-2010 22:06:41 | More by CampusCrew
4.68/5 rDev +4.2%
HUGE thanks to bullywee!
date on cape - 22/09/10 , poured into a tulip
pours a deep ruby brown, lots of cola color. massive creamy pillow like head that just sits there, hiding the scents beneath.
lots of sweetness hits me first. rich raisins dominate with an underlying dark cherry and vanilla and alcohol. faint hints of malts and yeast. this is beyond complex.
wow.. tons of raisin up front. dark cherry and other dark fruits really make up a majority of the flavor. light vanilla through out the finish with a nice light malty backbone. light hints of tobacco and a nuttiness.
tons of carbonation tingle the tongue. as this warmed up, it did calm down a bit and smooth out. this was the only flaw i found.
amazing flavors, amazing scent, and huge complexity. this never once got boring, only made me want more. the 8% is well hidden. this is a treat, and i would give anything for another.
06-14-2010 00:41:37 | More by hooliganlife
4.83/5 rDev +7.6%
Notes from a tasting in 10/08
Bottle ordered and consumed at In De Vrede, the abbey cafe.
Pours a murky brown topped with a creamy and thin ivory head. Leaves sheeting lace on the glass. Smells strongly of dark fruit, vanilla, oak and rich bready malt. Rum-soaked raisins and some squishy-ripe currant in the aroma too.
Just a hint of alcohol in the mouth but a lot more of that raisin and sweet bready maltiness. Yeasty.Prunes and currant, toffee and rich malt.Big and sweet body but still there is a very detectable evidence of persistent herbal hops in the finish.
It's lovely and warming as you drink it. Just as good as its big brother, just enough character to distinguish it from being Westy 12, Jr.
06-07-2010 20:04:48 | More by ViveLaChouffe
4.88/5 rDev +8.7%
11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip. 11-03-12 printed on the cap.
(A)- Pours a deep hazy brown/burnt sienna color that produced an awesome eggshell colored fluffy head that has superb retention; the foam is not going anywhere. Its just sticking like glue to the sides of the glass; thin lacing all over the place.
(S)- Earthy, with a heavy biscuit-like grain to it. Yeasty, with some clay. Has the tiniest hint of dark fruits with a twist of banana.
(T)- Just like the smell. The biscuit-like grain goes well with the earthy flavors of clay & yeast. Finishes dry with bits of the fruits and more earth. Almost has a roasted feel to the background.
The best tasting Dubbel in recent memory.
(M)- A high carbonation level that almost fizzes on the tongue. Has a good balance of earth, biscuit, and fruit; I wish more of the fruits came through, but I do love an earthy belgain. Not overly sweet or bitter, but is a happy medium of the two.
(D)- A superb Dubbel. I can definitely see how this has had rave reviews. A perfect example of the style and a joy to consume. I would love to have this on a more regular basis if it was not so hard to acquire. I am glad to have finally tried this!
05-30-2010 18:37:22 | More by sweemzander
5/5 rDev +11.4%
I am not a beer expert yet, I am just getting into this, but this beer is by far the best I have ever had. It is so smooth you dont even notice the high alcohol content. I have a bottle of the 12 also, I will be drinking that soon and will let you know about it.
I wish I had another, it was well worth the money.
05-26-2010 01:34:36 | More by harrmatees
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,632 ratings.