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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)

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1,778 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,778
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.48%
Wants: 1,268
Gots: 299 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

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
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Ratings: 1,778 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GallowsThief
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 330ml. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A – Pours a cloudy root beer brown color with one finger of off white head. Very lively carbonation. Spotty lacing.

S – Toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, apples. Slightly sweet.

T – Ohh smooth. Honey, dark fruits, mild chocolate, cherries, pears. Just a ton of flavor swirling around here. Complex. Spicy at the back end and you definitely feel the warming alcohol. Balanced all the way.

M – Smooth and slightly slick. Medium bodied with active carbonation.

O – I was expecting a lot here and thought it would disappoint. It did the opposite. This is a delicious dubbel, the best of I have had to date. Ridiculously drinkable even at the ABV. Now to get more….

4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle served in a Westmalle Chalice glass.Enjoyed on jul´11
Pours foggy,deep amber in color with rubi hues to the light.Creamy,close & lasting froth,beige in color.An incredible all around lacing bed created by small & concentraded bubbles. Bread yeast & caramel malt aromas, prune aromas.Subtle fresh flavor hints followed by anisette notes round nose feeling.Sweet bitter at fist sip. Slightly toffee flavor wraps a medium body.Palate is fulled up by raisin & molasses. Gentle carbonation. ABV is so well camouflated that only a kindly brandy flavor reveals alcohol presence. A perfect balanced beer. Excelent drinkability. Comments: One of the best prey I´ve catched in my more than 35 years as a beer hunter.Pairing:Nothing at all. An amazing experience should not be cloudy by anything.Nevertheless if you´re lucky enough to have more than one of this, fresh bread rolls & banana will match pretty well.

Photo of Azurescens
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle with best by date 06.04.14 printed on cap, poured into Trois Pistoles goblet, reviewed on 8/15/11.

A: Pours dark brown with maroon notes when held to the light. Nice and clear in the light. Topped with a fluffy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing around glass.

S: Dark malt and yeast, sweet fruit, some herbal and spice notes with a hint of alcohol.

T: Lots of sweet bready malt, a bit of yeast and some balancing hop bitterness. Dark fruit and herbs come through as the malt notes fade a bit. The alcohol blends in with all the other flavors so well that it is barely detectable besides the slight warmth after each sip.

M: Really rich and creamy medium body with low-moderate carbonation that puts a nice tingle on my tongue.

O: Absolutely delicious dubbel, easily the best that I have had to date. Really drinkable for 8% ABV and every sip is packed with tons of flavor. Wish I had another one.

Photo of Zimbo
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to very venerable Thijs (Brabander) for this. I've had it for quite some time now and given the recent spate of grey gloomy wet weather I figured there was no better time than the now.

Dynamite smell in the bottle before being poured into a Westvleteren glass. Looks good there too with a dark bown sparkle and orangy highlights but the 8's decent appearance really cloaks the greatness of this beer. There is no big super rocky head to disorient your senses and distract you from any shortcomings like other (supposed) 'world class' beers . Instead you're immediately hit by a near perfect roasty almost nutty smokey slightly medicinal smell.
The taste if of some darkish chocolate earthiness with just the perfect interplay of some sweetness and just a dash of soya. Unbelievably super complex flavour which just evolves, evolves and evolves in the glass. Wicked dryness too and a very well integrated thought provoking firm strong slightly acidic backbone.

Amazed that I I almost like this as much as the 12. The 8, well, its another high octane tasty austere effort from those Westvleteren folks. Just what I would expect. And my expectations are pretty heavenly.

Photo of DaveHS
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottle courtesy of Jeffo. Best by 02/05/13. Poured into a St. Feuillen goblet.

A-Opens with a loud hiss. Pours deep burgundy with over 2 inches of thick, foamy light tan head. Deflates, leaving rings of sticky lacing and a fat cap of foam.

S-Unbelievably complex. Candied raisins, beet sugar, brown sugar, madeira and earthy hops. Can't wait to drink this.

T/M-The mouth feel on this is exceptionally smooth and mellow. Light, supportive carbonation, velvety soft texture. Can't see this getting any better with age than it is right now. It's difficult to do justice to how much is going on with this beer. Flavors of rose petal and lavender layered over a blanket of fine brown sugar and toffee flavors. Slightly oaky,with a refined estery yeast flavor. The finish is dry and warming.

O-Best dubbel I've ever had, hands down. As I see it, this is the one to beat. Good luck with that.

Photo of seeswo
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks CaseyK for a chance at this one! Bottle is from 1985 and cap says "EXTRA 8" on it. Pours a medium brown with a reddish-orangey tint to it with a very slight head. Nose is a nice collection of dark fruit and caramel breadiness, including big plum. The taste is fantastic - a lot of plum, pear, prune, with a bit of breadiness. Crazy smooth and easy to drink. Very light carbonation with a pretty light body. We speculated whether this was brewed with plum puree. This dubbel held up with no problem at all and just blew us away. The only problem was that I only had a few ozs. Would love another to compare. One of the better beers I've had. In my experience, the Westy 12 wasn't worth the effort relative to other Quads (still good though). This beer, granted it has a ton of age, was totally worth the effort.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
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 +11.6%
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
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
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 +0.4%
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 well....it'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
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
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
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
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
4.21/5  rDev -6%
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
4.82/5  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
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
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
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
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
4.12/5  rDev -8%
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 -9.6%
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 -35.7%
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 -14.1%
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
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
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
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
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
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
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
4.82/5  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
4.4/5  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.

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,778 ratings.