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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 cpmichael
4.3/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of liamt07
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of bonkers
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of JAXSON
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 rate.

Big thanks to Brad. Amazingly, a darker pour than the 12, really deep brown, a creamy beige head. Aroma of prunes, figs, some maple syrup. Not really a massive burst of fruits and sugars like the 12. Flavor has that really rich, elegant, clean alcohol sugar purity, fresh and exciting. There are a lot of figs, and a slight bittering component of hops on the back end that isn't necessarily welcome here. A little too much carbonation, but still creamy and smooth. Over-ripe bananas play a role as the beer warms. The comparisons to the 12 are inevitable -- this is less of everything but still delicious.

Photo of Gmann
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mud puddle brown color with a moderate dense off-white head that settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is of plums and raisins with some brown sugar. The aroma is on the sweet side of the dubbel spectrum. Not very strong but good.

The flavor also has plum and raisin characteristics, perhaps a hint of fruit punch and clove. There is also a strong earthy quality to this beer. A bit of char and tobacco, carob. The earthy flavors aren't strong but do a good job offsetting the sweetness. Balanced, I would like to perhaps see some chocolate notes as I like that in my dubbels.

The feel is moderate and spritzy. Again, great balance. Sweet on the palate as most Belgians are but the earthy characteristics keep everything in check. ABV well hidden.

Photo of kwjd
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this part of a Westvleteren taster at Volo in Toronto. Pours a dark ruby brown with a finger of white head. Really nice head retention. I had this after the taster of the Westy blonde and the head was still there. Lots of lacing on the glass. Smells of plum and cherry with brown sugar and candy sugar. Alcohol is a little bit noticeable in the flavour. Quite sweet flavour, very nice. Very nice mouthfeel. I think this is easily the best dubbel I've ever had.

Photo of DPFRD
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz into an Orval chalice.

A- Brown, 90% opaque with a lacy, decadent head fueled by densely propagating carbonation.

S- Molasses and brown sugar plus a tiny bit of sour apple are filled in by a mild bready grain character accentuated by yeasty notes at finish.

T- Silky bready grain character with hints of dates, and brown sugar/molasses. Very crisp while being so full. It is pretty complex and has a lot of minute subtleties like hints of coriander, clove and even some pepper. Yeast character is subdue at first but presents itself more when warm and livens the beer with wonderful estery harmonies to the dark fruit notes. Has a faint bitterness in the finish reminiscent of weak black tea, along with a lingering bready echo.

M- Silky, smooth, full, active with carbonation.

D- For me, incredible. I cannot get enough, such a great flavor and feel. For someone else, I won't decide.

O- Home run. Hands down best double I've had... sorry Westmalle. It has all the awesome grain character you want, plus even more amazing things happening. It's just plain delicious. This beer makes me wish they distributed so much more than I did before.

Photo of peensteen
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany with ruby, orange and brown showing up in the light, nice lace on the glass, tight white to off white head. Smells of alcohol, burnt sugar, dark cherry, apple, caramel, raisin, dark fruit, toffee. The nose on this is extremely complex and inviting. Taste is dark fruit, raisin, candy like sugar, apple, a very pronounced sharp warming alcohol is present upfront that pushes this along but isn't overpowering and a tannic presence in the finish. Mouthfeel is solid with a great weight and a subtle but present carbonation, very solid. Drinks really well, starts off as a slow sipper but as it opens up and warms it drinks much quicker, truly excellent stuff.

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

Reviewed from notes/memory from trip to Belgium this summer (I have a few more on hand, will update if my impression changes.)

Pours a hazy caramel color with a swirl of suspended yeast; carbonation is surprisingly brisk (more so than its big brother) and recedes to about half a finger of off-white head.

Like the Westy 12, the aroma is winey--this vinous note seems to be a hallmark of the Westvleteren beers. There is a background of esters and spicy phenols, as well as some dark fruit. The esters are noticeably muted compared to others in the style (particularly American imitations.)

The flavor opens up with caramel malts, which give way almost immediately to fruity notes-- the dark fruit from the nose is present but there is also a strong apple flavor. The fruit hangs on and doesn't fade entirely as the beer finishes with muted noble hops. Others have noted an alcohol note here but for the life of me, I can't find it.

Mouthfeel is appropriately viscous but definitely on the lighter side for the style, and there is a pleasant dryness. Westy beers seem a bit more attenuated than some of the other Trappists, and this definitely helps drinkability.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with orange-ish hints, with a light tan head. In the aroma, dark candi sugar, yeast, dark fruits like candied figs and dates, chocolate, hops, and earth. In the taste, a lot going on at once, candi sugar is obvious, cocoa, toffee, sugarplum, maple, dark chocolate with a slight touch of anise and ginger. Smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a sweet to dry little bit of everything in the aftertaste. It might be the most complex thing I have ever had.

Photo of billab914
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. It poured a beautiful, murky, dark caramel color with a thick, frothy, cappuccino like head filling the top inch of the glass. Fantastic head retention to it and the sides of the glass were a solid sheet of lacing by the time I was done drinking it.

The aroma shows a lot of raisin to it along with some grape, plum and fig notes at times. I get a moderate amount of Belgian yeast spiciness coming through as well. It has a bit of a sweet, dark fruit boozeiness to it that adds some nice complexity. The aroma feels a bit on the sweet side at times, but overall a pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste starts off with some big malty flavors with some of the Belgian yeast spice coming through. It starts to get a lot sweeter midway with some of those booze soaked raisin, plum and fig flavors. In the finish the bitterness shows up and helps balance out the sweet dark fruits, the yeast spice comes back to linger a bit as well.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with low carbonation. The frothy head gives it some nice frothy texture as I drank it as well. Can't really ask for anything else in a mouthfeel for the style.

Drinkability is very good, the flavors were great and it had some nice depth and complexity. The dark fruit flavors really stood out and added some very pleasant sweetness. Very nice beer overall and a great example of the style.

Photo of thepeter
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown murky with a nice big head that thined quicker than expected. A glimmer of amber coming through in the light. Smells of dark fruits, apple, yeast and spices. Dark Fruit, malt and the zesty yeast combine to flavor the beer, it is rich and full bodied yet not heavy on the tongue. Could drink this all day, just a wonderful beer.

This bottle was bought in Brussels about a year ago and kept in my cellar.

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

Beautiful deep brown, pulled back on the pour for clarity (my preference). Wonderful sweet smell that's hard to pin down. It's just awesome. Tasted slightly sweet with full flavor mix of perfectly combined malt and yeast, again very hard to describe accurately without going too far down any one road. Plum notes show up in the flavor, but don't linger too long. Very nice going down in full-flavored swallows. If there's a downside here, which is hard to find, it might be too sweet to drink all night.

Photo of kirkpjr
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap stamped 13.08.12.

Poured into my new Westvleteren chalice.

A: Pours a murky brown with plenty of carbonation and floaters. 1 full finger of frothy head fills the glass to the rim. Color turns a very subtle burnt orange when held to the light. A thin ring of head remains, but very little lacing on the glass.

S: Rich, dark fruits: cherries and figs. Highlighted by some cinnamon spice. Port like and brandy scents bring out a little heat in the nose. This one is incredible on the nose - with both sweet and subtle tart characteristics.

T: A perfect crisp and dry display of the smell. Dark fruits, green apple, caramel, and cinnamon. Some wine characteristics break through as the beer warms.

M: Light and crisp in the feel - which leaves me anticipating the 12 I have ever more. Elevated level of carbonation adds to this feel.

D: The feel of this one makes it highly drinkable. A little warm towards the end of the beer limits it slightly. Smell was fantastic, with the taste only leaving me wanting slightly more - but I guess that would be a style preference.

Photo of glazeman
3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A: The beer pours a murky brown and has a ½ finger off-white head. There is no ruby red aspect as in the 12. The head is relatively short-lived and there is only minimal lacing.

S: The smell is of dark fruits and roasted malts. It also has a little bit of what smells like coca-cola.

T: There was a lot more roasty malts than I expected. The middle consisted of some dark fruits, but nowhere near to the level of the 12. In the finsh was a little bit of hop bitterness followed by alcohol.

M: The carbonation in this bottle was much higher than in the 12. It was actually quite a bit more carbonated than I would have liked. Otherwise, it's light-bodied like the 12 and has a pretty good aftertaste.

D: Pretty good drinkability, but a lot less interesting than the 12. It was nice to try this, but I won't seek it out again.

Photo of kbutler1
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Cap has 2.05.13 on the cap, reviewed on 2/2/11. Poured into a tulip glass a clear, deep ruby red brown color with a large fluffy 3 finger light tan head that slowly recedes. Head leaves some nice lace as it settles. The aroma is pretty nice with a subtle dark fruit smell along with some banana. Medium/light mouthfeel with some good carbonation. First taste yields flavors of dark malt, dark fruit, and some alcohol notes. Some lingering bitterness as well. The taste is actually a little more subdued than I thought it would be. The carbonation seems a little high for me as well and detracts from the flavors. Overall, I'm just ok on this beer, it isn't exactly what I thought it would be and isn't as good as I wanted.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle from unclejedi, thanks a lot man! Pouring into a snifter glass at fridge temp.

Date on bottle 12.05.13

A- Pours a really dark reddish brown with a nice 1 1/2 finger white head with huge bubbles. Spotty lacing with slight alcohol feet but nothing crazy.

S- Really sweet candy sugar with a steong belgian yeast profile. Tons of breadiness, strong banana, and spice. Not really getting much else, just tons of sweet notes and slight alcohol. Maybe some dark fruits in there as well.

T- Tastes just like it smells, nice strong banana and breadiness up front with a complex spice profile in the middle. After it goes down you get a mixture of toffee and malts with dark fruits like raisins, fig, and maybe some licorice. Pretty complex for sure.

M- medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice wet bubbly finish. Slight sourness from the yeast.


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

A: Wonderful dark ruby colored when held to light. Three fingers of rocky head..actually has a brown swirl. In no hurry what so ever to go away. Recedes to a nice frothy cap.

S: Candi sugar, figs. Pretty sweet smell overall.

T: Candi sugar, figs...a raisin flavor. This is the first Dubbel that I can remember being able to pick out a hops flavor, grassy. Familiar Belgian yeast flavor.

M: Creamy, sweet and a little tart. Dry finish.

D: Very good considering the alcohol, but this is a little too rich to drink more than one...two tops.

Best dubbel I've ever had. Hope to have this again.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes. Opened this during my going-away party.

Poured a very nice pecan brown. Soft hues of autumn in the light, topped with an off-white head that gave wonderful lacing. I would expect nothing less from the most esteemed Belgian brewery/monastery in the world. Lovely caramel of a darker type, along with figs and bread. Extremely well made, offering caramel, touch of sweet chocolate, dates, figs, and yeast. No alcohol is detected at all. Well carbonated, as it should be, and quite smooth. Maybe too smooth, in fact, because I can't seem to stop pouring more samples for myself....

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Provided to me by Thijs at the Essen Kerstbier Festival. Thanks, Thijs.

Body is an opaque dark reddish brown. I poured a half inch head of luscious bumpy clouds of foam, which quickly dissipated to a veil and ring, leaving some clouds of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of bread, ginger, coriander, candi sugar, and toffee.

Tastes of bready malt, dark fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, and coriander and ginger spice. There is some metallic cola taste as well. Sweet on the front palate, it develops a slightly bitter hop theme in the back palate and ends with a super clean refreshing finish. All these elements blend into a practically seamless, complex and delectable beer. After each sip, you just want another sip of this.

Body is medium and carbonation is just fizzy enough to produce a creamy mouthfeel.

This is a great dubbel that I am lucky to be enjoying on my b-day. The alcohol is not noticeable, and the beer is so delectable and smooth, that you could drink a lot of this, if bottles weren't so hard to get ahold of. This is not just a good tasting beer, but it produces a warm fuzzy bodily feeling that is unusually pleasant as well.

Photo of BobZ
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, a fitting beer for my 100th review.
Appearance: Rich dark brown with a big billowy head which hangs around. Perfect sticky lacing sip after sip throughout the beer.

Smell: Rich complexity and fragrance, dark fruit up front with malt in the background.

Taste: Another excellent beer from St. Sixtus, dark fruit, rich malt, sweet up front but with a wonderful hop bitterness to balance the brew. So many flavors again all working together.

Mouthfeel: Smoothness beyond compare, a hallmark of the Westvleteren beers.

Drinkability: Delicious beer. I would love to have an endless supply.

This beer is an excellent complement to its better known brother and an excellent beer all around, once more deserving of its reputation.

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

Thanks to crazeguy for tossing this in as an extra in the Blind Beers BIF. Split and poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pretty standard for a dubbel. Mostly opaque reddish-brown, very active head and significant sediment left in the bottle. Head fades rather quickly, leaving just a little trace of thick, slow moving alcohol legs and the faintest lacing.

S: Yeasty esters dominate, followed by some lighter candy sweetness. Fruity, almost in a muted tropical sense as well as the dates and raisins of its older brother. Tinge of spice on the finish.

T: Mild sweetness and yeasty esters, very similar to the aroma. Not as sweet as I would have expected, but to its benefit. Very balanced flavor profile with a nice finish. Better than most dubbels I've had.

M: Highly carbonated, brisk and relatively light. Very well done here.

D: Very high. Easy drinking, not overly sweet, excellent combination of mouthfeel and flavor profile.

Quite nice. I would compare this favorably to the other big name dubbels mainly on the strength of better balance and less sweetness in the flavor, in addition to an excellent mouthfeel (largely due to more active carbonation and a lack of cloying, sticky sweetness).

Photo of mlaroche
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Bottle acquired 4/29/2010, consumed 1/17/2011. Best by date on cap is "12.02.12"

Appearance - dark brown with a hint of ruby. Fizzy head quickly subsiding to a heavy lace.

Smell - raisin and caramelized candi sugar. Sweet fruits.

Taste - richer than 8% would lead you to believe, but not cloying. Complex. Much of the time, dubbels are overwhelming with the sickly sweet candi sugar flavor, but this is well balanced. Slightly earthy.

Mouthfeel - tingly! A good aftertaste lingers.

Drinkability - a subtle alcohol note. I could quaff this for a while and still discover new notes.

High in subtlety and a great mouthfeel. I had a bottle of Maredsous 8 yesterday, and this restores my faith in the style! I just want to leave this in my mouth and swirl it around for a while.

Photo of starrdogg
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a dark reddish-brown with a little bit of white head. Smell is nutty with some raisins and sweet malt. Taste follows the smell, it's malty and raisin-y with a good, but not overwhelming, amount of sweetness. It also has some caramel to it as well as something a bit grassy that I can't quite put my finger on. Beer is very carbonated and very much on the dry side of things, which makes for very little finish. It's extremely drinkable, and there's no way I'd know this is an 8% ABV beer if it wasn't in the name. It goes down very smooth.

Overall this is a very enjoyable beer, but one that I don't think quite lives up to the hype. Westy 12 is a flat-out excellent beer, but I worry that the 8 is kinda riding the coat-tails of its big brother. It's a good beer, but not one that's worthy of being in the top 10 beers in the world, if you ask me.

Photo of drink1121
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a rich mohagony with an off white head that sit on the beer like a plastic cookie cutter with the edges being thicker than the center

S- Big time cherries with that slight cherry sourness. This is on complex smell though. Darker fruits come in behind that with a bit of malt heat.

T-Not all that similar to the smell. The taste has a good bit of malt breadiness too it mixed in with dark fruits and some heat that numbs the mouth slightly. Not nearly as complex as the smell

M- pretty creamy for a Dubbel which I like. Thin is not in and this beer knows it.

D-I could pound these puppies but I am also excited to see this one aged for a few years to see if it becomes more complex as the heat dies down a bit.

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