1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,672 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,672
Reviews: 765
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,211
Gots: 254 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,672 | Reviews: 765 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of callmescraps
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, time for the last immediate member of the Westy family. I'm pretty excited as the others have been great.

Appearance- Very deep ruby/brown in color. Half inch of thick, soapy tan head that isn't going anywhere. Very nice lacing.

Smell- Very nice. Lots of rich dark fruit, prunes, cherries. Maybe some dried apple as well. A rich toasted nuttiness.

Taste- A little subtle, at least up front. Some of that cherry. A rich toffee as well. The nuttiness and a rich black bread maltiness. The cherry comes in at the end pleasantly. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Rich and full. Creamy and delicious.

Drinkability- Goes down too easy. I'll miss it when it's gone.

This is yet again another excellent beer. A little more restrained than the great Westy 12, but an excellent beer in its own right.

callmescraps, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 29.09.10. Dark brown pour with a ruby highlight and a big, rocky, tan head. Aroma is cereal, banana, dates, peppery, with a slight bit of alcohol. Flavor consists of plum, cocoa, lots of esters, peppery and quite a bit of alcohol. Medium body with loads of prickly carbonation.

punkrkr27, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of dogfishlove120
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky cloudy opaque medium dark brown with little head suffice the center and around the rims. The aroma is highly Cherry, plum, fig and other dark fruits along with maybe even a slight hint of chocolate and some bread. the flavor is also cherry, fig and dark fruits with a yeast/ bread presence. Not overly sweet extremely well balanced. The fruits come through even more as the beer warms. I may actually enjoy this over the 12 I will have to try it again.

dogfishlove120, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of projectflam86
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

And now for my 300th review on BA, Westvleteren 8. The code 29.09.10 is printed on the cap. Served into a chalice.

Thanks to a061183 for sending me this in our trade. Cheers!

A- Pours a murky rum raisin color with a thick pillowy beige head that leaves some nice lace.

S- Sweet dark fruit aromas with hints of earthy hops and caramel. Loads of spice and Belgian yeast aromas are quite easy to pick out.

T- I'm not even sure where to start. This brew is loaded with complexity. Sweet brandied cherries and rum raisin flavors are most noticeable initially. After a few more sips, flavors of caramel, toasted grain, figs, anise, cinnamon, and dark fruits with a vinous like body come through in waves. A touch of alcohol in the finish creates a gentle warming effect on the way down.

M- Medium bodied with a light dryness. The spritzy carbonation helps to disperse the flavors equally on the palate.

D- World class in every sense of the word. Superbly drinkable and amazingly flavorful. Truly a brew to be sipped and savored.

projectflam86, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a nice firm tan head.

Nose is initially all banana malt. Goes to carmel, cooked apples and spiced bread as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is rich and full but crisp, not creamy and with light, but perfect, carbonation. Good body however.

Flavors are wonderfully layered, rich, bold and full. Assertive banana/carmel/creamed sweet coffee character and flavor. Cooked fruit, carmel, toffee, and banana all come in layers. A wonderfully balanced and integrated beer with underlying bitter coffee hops.

Balance and integration is near perfect. One of the most balanced beers I've had.

Long finish is rich malt, banana, carmel that goes to semi-sweet bitter chocolate/coffee.

This is a wonderful beer and less "thick" than the Westvleteren 12, the number one beer in the world. This one is actually far better balanced and, dare I say it, actually may be an all around better drinking beer. But, this is my first one. I have 3 more bottles to go!

GRG1313, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this 2007 12 oz bottle into my Westvletern chalice.

The beer pours medium to dark murky muddy brown with a big 3 finger light tan head. The heads lasts about 5 minutes then fades to soapy head covering finish. There is decent lacing.

The aroma is really light, to light to pull much out. Its pretty matly with some bread and light toffee.

The taste is good not great very complex like its big brother. Its also very matly.

The feel is good pretty drinkable.

Overall, this beer is good, but not a top 15 beer. Probably not top 100, its just not super special.

jrallen34, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was extremely surprised to find this beer at a small shop in Genoa, Italy. I was quick to snap up a bottle of this liquid goodness.

A - Pours reddish brown with reddish copper highlights and a nice, gloppy khaki head.

S - Superb. Belgian candy, reserved spices.

T - Phenomenal flavor. Dark Belgian sugars, caramel, dark fruits, spices. Nice, faint white peppery spice finish.

M - Silky smooth but with more body; velvety.

HeyItsChili, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got via trade. Pours out of a label-less bottle with a collar, and blue cap that has freshness date on it and says: Trappist Westvleteren 8 on it. Pours semi dark, cloudy...some yum-yums floating around. Thin head, but remains a nice size ring.
Aroma is strong and amazing. Not as solid as the Westy 12, but definitely a great smell. Lot's of fruits and sweetness.
Taste is also not a let-down. Very sweet, carbonated, raisons....malts...wow.

ShadesOfGray, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of hobojon
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle brought back from Belgium by a friend, bought in the cafe. Cap code: 17.06.12 Served in Tulip glass.

Aroma- very good. sweet, caramel, smooth roast. dark fruit and berries but not specific. some tart character. mouth watering.

App- red. light tan head dissipates and laces. yeast chunks but otherwise clear.

Taste- complex caramel with light roast. tart drying finish. alcohol but good. some pear, subtle wet tobacco. clean pils malt. herbal/spicy hop bitterness. some burnt fruit sugar.

Mouth- full, creamy mouthfeel. fine carb. not heavy or filling. dry.

Overall- very good, clean and unique. gets too sweet and thin as it warms. not any better than westmalle dubbel or St. B 8.

hobojon, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer shared for the BA birthday event with BeerFMAndy. Poured and split into two tulip glasses the beer is a muddy chocolate brown with a full inch of tan head. After settling I'm left with a nice amount of slippery lace that slides down the edges of my glass.

The aroma is a mild mix of sweet candied dark fruits. Plums, raisins, dates. Caramel malt with brown sugar and hints of alcohol. A bit weaker then I had imagined.

The flavor is mash of sugary dark fruit along with sour cherries. Hints of caramel malt, cocoa, spices and baked bread. A definate tartness to the finish.

Medium to full body. Mild creaminess with moderate carbonation. Rather dry.

Overall a decent beer. I suppose nothing ever lives up to the hype it gets. This one wanted to. It just didn't make it for me. I will have to try it again fro comparisons sake.

beerwolf77, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz label-less bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 21.11.11 printed on the bottle cap as well as 8% ABV.

Again, many, many thanks to a generous friend; Todd aka Beerwolf77. Happy shared birthday Todd!

A - Westy 8 pours out a totally hazed muddy brown color from bits of sediment floating throughout. The tall pour released a huge three-finger head. It was a good multi-colored khaki head that was darker in spots that seemed to have excess yeast. The head had superb retention and thick lace that covered the glass.

S - Light tart cherries and a good fruitiness of raisins. The aroma is really mellow like its brother, 12. The malts were toasty with a good sweetness to them. A bit bready in nature and sweet with hints of molasses and dark candi sugar. No hops on the nose, and for the amount of sediment, there really wasn't any yeast aroma either.

T - The flavor is nice and mellow, but complex with flavors of sweet, dark candi sugar and raisins, grapes, and dark cherries. Again, the beer is devoid of hops. The maltiness is all over the place with a mellow flavor of breadines and very light molasses. Great flavors going on in here but it's so laid-back. I wish, like the 12, it was just a bit more upfront.

M - Very smooth and sweet with a silky feel. It leans more towards being medium-bodied and while its well carbonated, the carbonation slips by unnoticed.

D - Very drinkable for the percent in part because all the flavors are so mellow and the mouthfeel is silky smooth. Great tasting, well brewed, and a very delicious beer. I would welcome any opportunity to have this again.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of DaveJanssen
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 330mL two ways in tulip glasses. Cap says best by 17-6-12.

Ar: Fruity, floral, herbal hop, grape, plum, raisin, doughy with caramel sweetness, unique, light alcohol, smooth roast, fruit a little bit non-descript

Ap: Red, very thick dense tan head, light lace, great retention

F: Toffee, earthy caramel, mellow dried fruit, light tartness like in dark cherries, toasty dry end with bread crust, spicy herbal hops at the end, pleasant fine bitterness, clean doughy malt, initial candy sweetness, light alcohol

M: thick creamy full mouthfeel, high fine carbonaiton, very dry end, alcohol warmth

O: very full, rich caramel sweetness but dries nicely, complex, nice hop presence, unique, alcohol becomes a bit rough with warmth

DaveJanssen, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of gyllstromk
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I went on an adventure to get this stuff, and I ended up doing things that no person should have to do for a beer. Regardless, I acquired 4 of these (no 12s, unfortunately -- that shall be another adventure) and decided to give the first one a shot.

First, I would like to say that this beer is on par with the highly available Rochefort 10 and I believe few experienced connoisseurs would be able to consistently tell the two apart. I am hopeful that the 12 is more awe-inspiring. That said, this beer is still quite delicious and its place among the best in the world is deserved. We are here for the journey of beer enjoyment and I believe that Westvleteren is a crucial part of it. Convenience plays a minor role in the journey.

On to the beer:

This one had the unfortunate case of a gusher due to bringing it home in my backpack after miles of walking. It pours opaque, deep red/brown. Nose is raisins, cranberries, soft cloves. Flavor is more of the dark fruit, plus perhaps some banana and finishes with a hint of saltiness and well balanced phenols. The feel is nicely carbonated and a bit creamy. Given the taste, of course it is quite drinkable but if we are allowed to factor in the difficulty of acquiring the beer, I know to take my time with it and enjoy (or split) only one.

gyllstromk, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of fiver29
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours very dark brown with almost no light passing through. A thick tan head forms on top and slowly fades. It never really goes anywhere. Its lasts as I drink it and laces beautifully. Aroma is a wonderful mixture of dark fruit. Plum, raisin, fig, some candi sugar and belgian yeast round out this gem. Prickly mouthfeel from the high carbonation. Flavors follow the nose and finish semi-dry. Alcohol is hidden well. This is a wonderful beer.

fiver29, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of natasharai
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with a smooth bubbly and foamy tan head that dissipated to a thin layer leaving very little lacing on my glass. The beer is a dark ruby red/brown color, initially poured clear but when the end of the bottle got in there it made it cloudy.

Smell: Delicious ripe dark fruit, dark cherry, ripe plum, red grapes, small amount of tartness, sweet molasses and honey.

Taste: Sweet dark fruit, plum, cherry, raisin, some tart fruit flavor, a bit like a good red wine. Sweet roasted malt and nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, sweet and sticky up front then quickly becomes dry. There is a small alcohol burn. Leaves mouth clean and dry.

Overall: Great drinkability. Nice sweet fruity and a little nutty character. Not overly sweet. Balanced with a great dry roasted flavor. A small alcohol presence, but that is expected with and ABV of 8%. All of the flavors blend well together.

natasharai, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
3.3/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $27.99 for an 11.2 oz beer from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. This is the last of the Westy line that I've tasted and my estimates put this beer as being about half a year in age. I pour into a chalice to review.

Watchout this one is a mild gusher. Have your glass ready immediately! Very fizzy and carbonated, it leaves a half inch off light beige head. Dark brown raisin color. Minimal head retention. Some sheets of lacing.

Dark fruits, red grape, belgian spice and mild yeast tones in the nose. Seems to be somewhat of a simple, yet effective formula for an overall pleasant aroma.

The fruitiness from the grapes comes more to the forefront and seems to dominate the taste. Taste is sweeter than the nose suggested.

Mouth is quite fizzy and carbonated. Medium body. The high carbonaiton/fizzy mouthfeel keep this one in the sipper category for me.

Well I picked this one up because they were selling it, but I think I should have just bought another bottle of the Westy 12 which is volumes better than this brew. Either way, for me personally, the price these bottles achieve it too high. The hype and exclusivity keep the ratings high. Don't get me wrong, they are excellent Belgian beers, but a Rochefort 8 or Abt 12 is on the same caliber for 1/3 the price.

ibbjamin, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of satowns
3.88/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick creamy head. Deep opaque ruddy red/brown.

Raisins and alcohol. Mild floury grain aroma.

Fairly sweet. dark caramel, toffee. mild peppery phonolics.

medium bodies with appropriate carbonation.

very drinkable...too bad its so difficult to acquire.

satowns, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Iceman77
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dbatch for sending me a bottle of this on his Belgian expedition this year, he was bummed that they didn't sell the 12 for takeaway from the brewery. The visuals are a deep brown/red hue with a big, soapy head that recedes to a nice foamy cap. The smell is very crisp and clean with lots of belgian yeast and malt, along with traces of nuts, fruits and spices. One of the best aromas I have ever experienced. In the taste you pick up dark fruits along with a light caramel sweetness, with a return of the roasted malt and yeast from the aroma. The mouthfeel was nice and creamy, although a little bland at the finish for my taste. A very drinkable dubbel, and definitely worth the hype, although wish it was more available over here in the States. And at the end of the Rochefort - Westvleteren challenge it's...Rochefort by a nose! The mission is still on to sample the Westvleteren 12...

Iceman77, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of Travlr
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown color with a strong lacy tan head. Malty, nutty aroma. Full mouth. Complex malty, vinuous, nutty flavor with hints of dates, raisins and dark cherries. Amazing complexity grows with each year of storage. Younger brother of the 12 and very nearly as good.

Travlr, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour - Pours a cloudy, slightly murky brown. Its reminiscent of instant iced tea or better yet it looks very much like a brown ale sitting in secondary fermentation. When held to the light you can see many tiny bubbles in suspended animation. Its quite a sight to behold. The head is big and fluffy and looks like cake patter or a very tiny open fermenter tank.

Aroma - Instantly takes me back to Belgium. The aroma of sweet malt and a very familiar yeast strain. Its caramel, brown sugar and sweet fruit all mixed together. It warms the nose and the soul.

Taste - Where does one begin. As soon as the flavors all mesh together on my tongue, happiness erupts. The sweetness of the malt is like baked apples and caramel. Flavors of sweet tea come to mind, as does sweet brown bread with honey butter. Carbonation levels are perfect letting this beer sparkle in your mouth and soak your taste buds with perfection.

Overall - World class. If you've never had a bottle of this or the 12 you will need to make the trek to Belgium yourself. Every bit as good as people say it is, by far the best Belgian Dubbel on planet earth and maybe even the universe (assuming their isn't some planet out there that has their own trappist breweries).

Would I buy more of it? - I would love to, alas its not that easy. This is one of those beers that is very hard to get and should stay that way.

Vintage - This beer was bottled on August 27, 2008.

indiapaleale, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle poured in its own chalice.

I've kept this beers stored for almost three years before open it. Best before 7th of June, 2011. Consumed at 15th of March, 2012 in perfect condition. Completely alive beer :)

A: Pours a nutty brown color and a big light beige head. Fizzy and "alive" carbonation. Good retention, it never disappeared leaving a thin small bubbled head. No lacings and a lot of dark particles floating around

S: Very bready. Very yeasty. Fruity, but moderate on these regards. Caramel malts. Hints of roasted malts. Toffee. Hints of alcohol

T: Follows the nose: Brown breauud, caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, Belgian yeasts. A bit sweet upfront and a very moderate bitterness. Alcohol sensation

M: Medium creamy and bit molasses body. Moderate carbonation

O: Honestly: Fantastic beer! Despite of the hype around Westys, there's no way to deny that, this is a just another perfect beer made by the Sint Sixtus monks

eduardolinhalis, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of ccrida
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle served in it's logo chalice at Cambrinus in Brugge, Westvleteren 8 is a murky brown with a very tight, creamy sand head leaving light lace.

Smell is soft, doughy yeast.

Taste is very smooth and balanced, very light caramel and toffee malt, some clean heat on the otherwise rapid finish. Pretty simple, it's honestly a bit bland, and disappointing. My general impression is a very yeasty beer, which reminds me of how St. Bernardus Abt 12 sometimes, but not always is. Perhaps there is similar inconsistency here, and I will be wowed by the bottles I brought home sometime in the future...

Mouthfeel is by far the best characteristic, supple, creamy and light.

Drinkability is pretty good, as it's easy to drink. On the other hand, it's not that interesting, and, in my humble opinion, unnecessarily rare and expensive.

ccrida, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of mwa423
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To congratulate myself for getting a new job, I decided it was the night to jump into the cellar with a Westy 8.

A - Poured a very dark brown that only when you hold up to a bright light will you get hints of red. The head is a dingy off white that sticks to the glass till the bottom!

S - The fruity and yeasty flavors that define the dubbel fill the nose here. Lots of dried fruit, yeast, with a backbone of caramel, hint of cocoa.

T - A mouth filling and coating rich beer. The flavors include what I would normally call dark roast malt, dried fruit, fig, raisin, with a tart aftertaste that reminds me of the average saison.

M/D - When reviewing a world class beer like this, it seems like you never want to drink more than one for want of being mad at yourself for dipping that far into your stash. However, the clean finish on this beer makes it exceedingly drinkable, I imagine that this is what monks kill 6-8 of per night to keep the faith. The mouthfeel is basically perfect for the style!

mwa423, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of callmemickey
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, muddy brown body. Moderate, creamy off-white cap. Held for a bit before crashing. Spotty lacing.

S: Rich, dark fruits. Cherries, figs, raisins. Some caramel and toffee malts hide out in the background.

T: Deliciously dark. The cherries and raisins really stand out from a complex backbone of caramel and toffee. Just a hint of booze shines through. Some candi sugars make themselves known as well.

M: Medium to full bodied. Good carbonation levels carry the flavors to the tongue well. Nice lingering finish.

D: Superb. A very nice dubbel, perhaps the best? The combination of profound flavors, solid carbonation, and a good body makes this a very pleasant experience.

callmemickey, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Brew33
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Westy 8. I'd been holding off on drinking this for months but my urges got the better of me.

It pours a dirty reddish brown. Full, tight white head. Cloudy, a bit scary. The aroma was very sweet but potent. Light alcohol in the nose. Dark fruits and brown sugar.

The taste was huge. Complex, sweet, slight burnt sugar flavor. Figs, raisins, a touch of honey. Very vinous, especially as it warms.

The mouthfeel was thick and very creamy. Stood up well to the strong flavors. Butter smooth.

All in all an excellent beer. Not too overwhelming. Complex but not overbearing.

Good beer, not worth the trouble to obtain though.

Brew33, Oct 09, 2009
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,672 ratings.