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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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1,769 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,769
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,260
Gots: 289 | FT: 17
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: 1,769 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpanossian
2.91/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Visited in de Vrede at Saint Sixtus last week. The Bruin was served from a bottle into a goblet.

Clumpy creamy biege head. Dark brown body/color with light carbonation from the bottom. Large bands of biege lacing.

Thick rich sweet nut brown taste, some raison some cocoa. Almost no aroma - barely a farmhouse field aroma.

Nothing special but enjoyable in their cafe on a sunny day.

Photo of Tabni
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Thijs for letting me get this great beer. After waiting for a few weeks, I finally decided to crack this open. Served into a wine glass since I just moved and had my specialty glasses in boxes. Ohh lots of head, creamy and rich. Hints of caramel but not too sweet. Perfection on this style!

Photo of CaseyK
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The cap was dated 9.3.10.
Big thanks goes out to mbrasi who threw this in as an extra!

A: Pours a white creamy head with a tinge of a chocolaty brown, head dissipates to a thin layer leaving nice lacing along the glass.

S: This beer smells great. A sweet smell, caramel, malt, a hint of cinnamon at the end.

T: Similar to the smell but it comes through stronger and with more nuance and layers. This is incredibly smooth, the three years of age on this one certainly didn't do any harm. Starts with a bit of spice, maybe cloves, also full of malt and a sweet flavor, caramel. The flavor really sticks in your mouth, great aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied, decent carbonation and creaminess make this beer great.

D: This is definitely smooth for the ABV, I could drink a few of these if given the chance.

Overall: This is really a great beer. Glad I finally got the chance to try it, I will certainly seek it out again in the future.

Photo of Schmaltzy
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with me by a great BA, thanks Thijs.

A- Dark hazy ebony wood brown with a 2 finger fluffy off white head with a nice layer of head that retains for the duration of the beer leaving clumps of lace all over the glass.

S- Nice sweet caramel scents followed by nice dark fruits and a load of spice on the backend, loads of cinnamon and nutmeg, almost smells like a cigar on the backend, with a nice belgian yeast scent that is always great.

T- Wow, similar to the scent but more powerful. Nice caramel and belgian yeast up front making this a very nice sweet belgian beer followed by the dark fruit and candi sugar with a slight almond flavor and a finish that is dominated by spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and a macanudo cigar spice finish.

M- Medium/Full body with ample carbonation that attacks the tongue, very nice flavors and almost creamy body. Would have scored a 5 here but carbonation was a little too much.

D- Alcohol is hidden, you don't notice any heat. The scents and flavors are great and as this beer warms the flavors seem to explode and express themselves three-fold. Will hold my other bottle for several years and re-visit.

Thanks Thijs, a real treat.

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

Had this beer from the bottle at In De Vrde near the abbey. Served in a chalice, cool.

A-mahogany brown body, tan head (thick).

S-sweet grain, light floral aroma

T-sweet grain, raisin, light hop.

M-full flavor but light on the palate.

D-Excellent beer. Not as heavy as 12. Still has complexity and far from a disappointment after having 12. If I have the honor of drinking this again. I will.

Photo of seanyfo
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage bottle cap best before 11/03/02

Poured into my Delirium Tremens chalice glass.

A- Ruddy dark brown with no light perception. 3 finger tan head which reduces quickly. Minimal to average lace.

S- Wholemeal bread and honey dominates for me. If this was actually bread i can imagine it being the extremely dense heavy kind. Some munich malt roasted notes in the background.

T- Wholemeal bread and munich malt roasted flavours are there but sweeter than the smell giving malt domination. Honey comes through again leaving a faint bitter bite and a semi dry finish. No hot alcohol bite

M- Moderate carbonation, medium to full body. Very smooth.

D- Very complex and apparent smells and flavours stand out well. You dont have to go looking for them at all. A very drinkable dubbel with a smoothness that gives a fantastic mouthfeel. Not had fresh but those 11 years did not do any harm!

Photo of Anthony1
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep burgandy tone. Nicely whipped head of light beige froth adorns the surface and has great retention and lacing ability. Initial blast of alcohol on the nostrils subsides as the sweet bubblegum and rock candy notes take over. There's also a raisiny, rummy characteristic on the nose. Very nice aroma. The flavors are complex, yet subdued. A graceful profile of dates, figs, plums, raisins, bubblegum, rum, toffee and chocolate. A spicy, alcoholic bitterness resides on the tongue after the swallow and detracts just a little from the overall drinking experience. Mouthfeel is light and airy. It almost melts in the mouth like cotton candy. Carbonation is appropriate. Good dubbel.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz proprietary brown glass bottle. Cap dated 04.06.13.

Pours a cola-brown color and is hazy. Some reddish hues along the edges. Fluffy tan head billows up and falls quickly.

Nose: Lovely dried fruits, dark candi sugar, and some dark tanned leather. Black cherry, apricot and river rocks aromas too.

Palate: Crisp yet fat and rich too. Medium bodied and creamy carbonation. Figs a plenty, some black leather, hazelnut whispers, fresh cream. A little crispness from the hops, a pleasant bitterness.

Notes: I usually don't like "Dubbels" but this is by far the best one out there...it has to be, seriously! Complex, but doesn't demand your full attention and has a nice balance between bitterness and sweet-/creaminess.

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

This beer is one of my favorites of all time.

It smells of fruits and spices with a bit of grains. The taste is where this beer shines. It hits you with a sweet sugar taste right at the beginning, then followed quickly by the fruit. It almost taste like a grape juice for the first split second. Then it turns grainy and that beer flavor that is so important to a good beer is there. The thing that is odd for me about this beer is just as fast as all these flavors hit your pallet they are gone again. This beer had almost no after taste at all. An oddity for a beer of this complexity.

Photo of STEG
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a molasses murky brown into a westvleteren chalice, big creamy frothy head is present and recedes into a small layer of thin bubbles. Smell is sugary and soapy with golden raisin and dark wheat bread present. Taste is filled with notes of darkfruits, bready and it's slightly smoky. Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a carbonated fizz at the end, it's really nice. I could have a few of these but won't because I'd be feeling like crap cause I drank them all so soon. My favorite Dubbel ever.

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

A - Dark garnet mahogany with a deep amber hue on the edge. Huge, fluffy, creamy, thick, frothy, off-white head with amazing retention finally settling into a very thick and creamy lace.

S - Good amount of sweet, caramel, and slightly bready malt base. Dark and golden fruit on top of that with a lot of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, some clove and allspice, amongst others). Wonderfully balanced and strong and enjoyable fruitiness.

T - Similar to the nose with a rich, sweet caramel and bready malt taste being pretty strong. Also a good amount of molasses, brown sugar, and dark candi sugar along with the spices. Fair amount of dark fruit and a bit of golden fruit (particularly apple). A touch of nuttiness is also present.

M - Medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D - Very easy to drink. Flavors all work well and have a complex mixture. Extremely smooth and goes down easy. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Notes: Best before 30/09/12. Very good beer, and right at the same level as the 12. Very complex, malty beer. Very easy to drink, if only it was easier to get.

Photo of mrandypandy
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle graciously shared by jmheart. Direct from his trip in April.

A- Pours a slightly murky brown/plum. Minimal haze, and the fluffy white head is reduced to a ring as the beer progresses. High carbonation.
S- Sweet. Dark belgian candy sugar dominates with plums and figs and other dark fruits in the background.
T- The dark candy sugar comes through again, but is well tempered with the dark fuit flavor. Strong malty background with some spicy notes as well.
M- My ONLY complaint about the beer. The carbonation levels were too high, and the beer felt fizzy/zesty, which detracted from my overall enjoyment.
D- Even with the carbonation this beer drinks well and I would gladly have this as one of my staples (if it were readily available).

Overall - Despite the hype that the 12 gets, the 8 holds its own as one of the better/best dubbel's out there. My distaste for high carbonation aside, this is a great beer and a great example of the style. Thanks again, Jeffrey!

Photo of SShelly
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of thagr81us
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of pitasoup
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Donerik
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

D: Wonderful

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

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!

Photo of HopHead84
4.02/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


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.

Photo of sheikyerbouti
3.66/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of regspeir
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,769 ratings.