1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,645 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,645
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,202
Gots: 249 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,645 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beckje01
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%

A- Deep dark brown with reddish hues on the outside. Half an inch of head looks amazing very thick good lacing.

S- Malty nose with a big boozy smell with it actually not that inviting

T- The taste is very good a mix of malt and semi sweetness, lots of booze in the back but very good.

M- Creamy and full with just enough carbonation, they really have the mouth feel down.

D- Drinkable and very good but not earth shattering.

As it warms it gets much better same character just better.

beckje01, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours a beautiful dark reddish/brown with a frothy ½ inch off white/an head. Smells of rich malts, fruity hops, and Belgian yeasts. First sip is way smooth, crisp, and tangy with a lovely balance of malt, hops, and yeast. Sweet and then slightly bitter with pears being the dominate fruit. Super creamy lacing clings so happily to the sides of the glass. So very good...so very good indeed. World Class

ATLbeerDog, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
4.4/5  rDev -2%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle with date of 08/25/08 into a tulip glass. Thanks to ygtbsm94 for the trade.

Appears brownish mahogany in color, relatively cloudy. Two inches of creamy off-white head that takes forever to recede. When it does it leaves some nice looking lacing down the glass.

Aroma has sweet overtones with notes of dark fruits like plums and raisins, a bit of basement mustiness

Taste has some nice sugary sweetness up front that is quickly intercepted by the plum and raisin dark fruit flavors that were in the aroma. There is moderate spiciness that comes in next but it never really peaks out and instead blends with some toffee flavors and earthy hops that linger on into the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, very nice carbonation level makes it very creamy.

Much better than the Blonde. This is making me want to crack the 12. Quite drinkable for the style.

roadhouse, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

A - Pours a ruddy dark red to black, small head, sudsy lacing.

S - Tart fruit mixed with sweet cooked fruit. Pears and apricots come to mind. A small bit of barney feel.

T - Complex, yummy blend of fruit and malt, accented with their particular yeast.

M - Medium body, great carb, great coating.

D - Could do a few...

srandycarter, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%

#1000

Vintage 1997. aged 10 years before sampling 12/31/07.

A: Poured a deep, hazy mahogany red with a beautiful fluffy light beige head that was mostly lasting leaving a thin film lacing on the sides of the glass. There were small and numerous suspend yeast particles dancing about.

S: On the nose was dark, caramelized molasses, and dried fruit (plums, raisins, cherries) with just a touch of figs.

T: The initial flavor was miraculous, full of the rich flavors of ripe fruit (raisins, apples, dates) along with a rich creamy caramelized malting that was silky and smooth. The mouthful was full, with a rich sweet caramel and warm fruit coming through. There was a sweet spiciness (light brown sugar, maple syrup) alogn with a beautiful arm toastiness, and light woody notes. The alcohol was incredibly hidden for its abv of 8.0%abv.

M: The carbonation was incredibly smooth and soft with a silky smooth texture.

D: Overall a perfectly balanced beer with a rich maltiness full of caramel and maple syrup sweetness with a vast complexity of dried fruit. Drinks like a dream leaving a sweet malty lacing behind. Believe it, its not just hype, truly a standout beer amongst all others and the best beer in the world.

beerthulhu, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

330ml bottle, lugged home from the cracked kettle in amsterdam!

appearance: poured into a hopleaf tulip glass...an absolutely gorgeous beer - dark garnet-mahogany tone with a huge fluffy creamy cap that retains itself brilliantly

smell: delicate nose...sweet dark-skinned fruits, fig, nutty, rye loaf, yeasty...nice

taste: fantastic dubbel - rich and amazingly complex...loads of dark skinned fruit, raisin and date, caramel and nutty, rye loaf, banana and yeast, spicy and bold. There is a thick molassess trait and tones of mild alcohol

mouthfeel: thick, boldy, and creamy

drinkability: great

dirtylou, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

My visit to the cafe In de Vrede was awesome and the beer was terrific. All 3 Westvleteren beers offered there were great, to include this one.

Red brown body color...the head is not as sturdy as the blonde or the 12, but is still thick and creamy. Same boiling mash smell as the blonde and the 12, but the cereal smell is a bit sweeter. In flavor, this beer lacks the fruitiness of the 12 but adds additional sweetness and some sour. Surprisingly not malty in flavor. Mouthfeel is quite good; despite the sweetness the beer is not overly sticky.

Very good. I would highly recommend this.

BeerBelcher, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of mdagnew
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

330ml bottle from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam... Date on cap is 26/08/09... poured into a Westvleteren chalice...

Poured a deep burgundy red colour with some dark brown tinges... some small floaties also...
Creamy mocha head poured very tight, thick and foamy then faded slowly to good meringue like one finger covering... lots of sticky lacing lines hang round until near the end...

Aroma - Rich alcohol soaked dried fruits (raisins, dates, prunes, stewed plums) mixed with lots of typical spicy Belgian yeastiness, lots of anise / cough mixture notes, leathery, toasted nuts, muscovado sugar / treacle sweetness, some sour vinegar traces (kind of like a Flanders red), cut wet grass, some pepper and nutmeg spiciness...

Taste - Strong spicy fruits (definite raisins, figs and prunes), toffee apples, toasted malts, molasses and treacle sweetness, malt loaf, quite strong Belgian yeastiness, some warming alcohol, bitter chocolate and liquorice, peppery, light medicinal notes, spicy / peppery hops cut through the sweetness, light ginger spiciness.... outstanding...

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with a light sharpness just coming through... medium / full bodied... unbelievably drinkable even at 8%...

Overall - Another world class brew from Brouwerij Westvleteren although i think a little more age on this would have made it even better... Outstanding and highly recommended....

mdagnew, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

Thanks to NoonanDBarbarian for sharing this one.

Pours an unusual cloudy brown with ruby highlights. A decent fizzy white head recedes quickly and leaves moderate lacing.

Nose is all butter and dark fruit. Dried plum and raisins. Belgian yeast.

Taste follows. Very very rich, dark fruit like a goddamn quad. Dried rum soaked plum and raisin. Fig. Belgian yeast is apparent. Very rich.

Mouthfeel is a bit too thick here, quite heavy. The richness adds to this.

Drinkability is good, quite good, but i would have expected a bit more thin. The intense richness of the dark fruits makes this one a bit less drinkable. Very buttery.

Overall a very very enjoyable and tasty dubbel. Very very rich and fruity taste. Really alot of quad like flavor in here with the dark fruit richness. Another hit from westy. 12 will always be their shining example to me, but 8 is also a very very nice beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of corey0212
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

I won this in leftmindedrighty's recent LIF!!!

Pours a murky iced-tea color with some nice ruby highlights when held to light, a crazy-dense beige head hangs around for the duration, diminishing very slowly in size, but never disappearing. Lots of sediment is suspended in the beer, and some yeast spills out of the bottle, leaving some dark brown swirls in the foamy head. Lots of fig, raisin, and apple on the nose. Red apple flavors come through a lot more as it warms, light brown sugar, some earthiness. Very finely carbonated, really creamy as it hits your lips, but the carbonation makes this one almost refreshing....this would pair with lots of dishes. This is an amazing beer, and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to try it!

corey0212, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

Received this as a generous extra in a trade with tayner, tucked in there mysteriously. Thanks, Dana!

A: A very dark, tea-like brown... if I recall correctly, this seems to come across as being a little darker than the 12. I'm having this later in the evening when there's not as much light, though. Head of sandy tan forms up wonderfully with a nice creaminess to it. Retention is quite nice and it leaves a rich, liberal sheet over the beer.

S: Some nice caramel-toffee scents, some touches of date and fig, slightly leathery, and a woody quality adding a little touch.

T: A rich, complex flavour... dark malt, a bitter chocolate note, very soft fruits - almost under the radar. Herbal notes, and a spiciness of the alcohol. The touch of tanned leather is in there, too.

M: Medium bodied, with some good weight to it - a full, shimmering, foamy carbonation adds a nice touch without being too prickly. Crisp and finishes with a little tingle.

D: Drinkability is great for a sipping-oriented beer. I found myself drinking it back without much second thought. Easy sailing on here, perhaps moreso than some other dubbels. Overall, a wonderful brew - able to drink it with a little more ease than the 12, but in terms of flavour and feel, the big brother still takes it for my palate!

Proteus93, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of everetends
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this bottle and the oppurtunity to try a world class brew. This puppy was served up in goblet.

A: Pours a thick, dark brown. Probably the darkest a brown can possibly be without being black. this puppy lets no light through. A somewhat gentle pour yielded a good finger and a half of light tan head. The head is amazingly creamy. It sticks to the glass with a thickness I have never seen before. It leaves the thickest sheeting I have ever seen on a glass. Simply beautiful to look at.

S: Smell is of Belgian Yeast, I know I was shocked as well. Nice bready malt is there in force. Then infiltrates the fruit: apple, fig, raisin. The fruits are very subtle and are rounded out by a brown sugar presence. Very nice.

T: At first this beer is incredibly subtle. Then the yeast pushes through as it warms. Then comes a sweet, shortbread malt. The fruits are even more subtle, with apples really coming out and fig and raisin chilling in the background. The brown sugar sweetness is just barely there in the aftertaste rounding the beer off. This beer evolves as it warms. Very interesting.

M: This is a full bodied beer but it almost doesn't feel like a full bodied beer and that is its genius. Its carbonation is big time, making the beer crisp and refreshing, but the texture is wonderfully creamy. All the flavors coat the mouth and really let you explore what this beer has to offer. No notice of the ABV. This is really good. This beer is liquid velvet. It does for texture what Lionel Richie did for the ear drum with all those soulful classics.

D: I could drink a case of this and not blink. These monks know what the fuck is going on. This beer is damned near perfect. I want more and I want to move to Belgium. If you get the chance, do it. All of the above.

everetends, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
4.4/5  rDev -2%

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Westvleteren glass. 09/24/08. Looks like a printed date on the cap but I can't make out the numbers.

Pours a deep dark brown color with about a finger on bubbly tan head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer, which then turned into almost nothing. Aroma has Belgian yeast, candied sugar, all kinds of dark fruits (raisin, fig, date, plum), molasses, and brown sugar. Smells very nice.

Taste is sweet Belgian yeast and malt. Lots of dark fruit (raisin, fig) and apple. Some caramel, toffee, and brown sugar as well. Very slight warming alcohol but barely noticeable.

Feel is medium-full body and plenty of carbonation yet very smooth. Very dry finish. Drinkability is pretty good. The alcohol is well hidden.

Overall a pretty good dubbel. It's pretty tasty. Try it if you get a chance.

bkilpatr, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of mhewes
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

A : Pours a nice murky brown with a good tan head

S : A nice sweet malt aroma along with some dark fruits and yeasty aromas.

T : Very similar to the Westvleteren 12 except that the flavors are a little more toned down. Good sweet malt flavor along with some dark fruit notes. It doesn't have the slight alcohol finish that the 12 does.

M : Medium-bodied, smooth, good carbonation

D : An excellent beer just slightly under the 12 tastewise. I would rate this one as more drinkable in comparison. It was great to drink and with the lower alcohol, just makes it easier to have multiples and enjoy the goodness.

mhewes, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%

Somewhat murky and brown with a medium tannish head and very nice retention. Smell is somewhat light but at the same time there is a lot to it. Spices, dark fruit, candy sugar and caramel. Yeast is noticeable. Taste is great. Excellent dark fruit flavors are more prominent here. Fig, plum, and apple skin show up front but become more faint. Dark cherry and a grape flavor become more prominent. A good caramel flavor with candy sugar and the spices compliment the flavor very well. A nice, steady carbonation with light bitterness and spices, almost tickling the tongue. I could enjoy one of these at a time and not because it's tough to come by. It's a good dessert beer, one I'm very happy to have tried.

I owe thanks to abankovich for a bottle. I think PHawk or akorsak also sent one. Thanks, guys!

ncvbc, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%

Got this one from tpd975, Cheers Greg!

Pours chestnut with 3+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & good head retention

S: Apple skins & orchard fruits

T: Apple skins, dryness, cinnamon, a touch of leather & green apples up front. This becomes very warming once this approaches warmer temperature, along slight charred grains, more leather & dryness & some pears as well. Finishes dry with fruittyness

MF: Light. spritzy (maybe this is fairly young bottle?) & very warming

Drinks easy enough, this must be a younger, bottle. I personally was too paranoid to sit on this bottle for too long, if you have a safe cellar. (me, I have 2 kids under 9) then age this to your hearts content. This is not close to my favorite dubbel, feel very fortunate to get to try it though

russpowell, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

A- Pours a murky dark brown with a nice bubbly tan head. Retention was very nice and followed the brew all the way down the glass.

S- Pretty complex here. Malty, plums, figs, raisins, brown sugar smell, nuts and as it warmed up some apple in there too.

T- Just like the nose very complex. Sweet up front, raisin, plums and figs Caramel/toffee malts are sweet and very powerful. Toasted nut and apple flavors emerge more as the brew warms. I can not pick up any alcohol here.

M- Full body, great amount of carbonation, creamy and smooth

D- Wow very awesome. I think I could drink this one all day long!

nrbw23, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

Appearance: Pours a murky, dark brown body with a thin, creamy, beige-colored head.

Smell: Malty, fruit nose smelling of molasses blended with homemade caramel sauce, dark fruits, apple slices, and French vanilla.

Taste: Rich, sweet maltiness tasting of chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Maybe a sprinkle of brown sugar and dark candi sugar, too. Splash of fruity Beaujolais. Flavors of figs and golden raisins and Red Delicious apples. Pass the Baked Alaska!! A touch bready. Slight yeastiness. Rather warming alcohol presence, particularly on the finish. Finishes sweet and resoundingly fruity with a lingering red wine taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Rich, punchy and packed with a fruitastic estery character, although it lacks the depth of the yellow-capped twelve or the drinkability of the green-capped blonde. Still recommended, though.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of cpn920
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%

I tried this beer after doing research on the trappist brewers. All I can say is WOW. Amazing beer that is the best that I have tried thus far in my life. I now have beer that all others will have to measure up to in the dubbel style. My only regret is that I didn't try this beer earlier in my life.

cpn920, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of prototypic
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

Appearance: It's extremely hazy and a dark, nut brown color. Carbonation is very active and yields a very light mocha colored, two and a half finger head. Retention was excellent and a sticky web of lace clung to the glass.

Smell: The nose is very complex and intriguing, but just a tad light in strength. Up front, it's a little sweet smelling and features raisin, fig, and plum aromas. There's a bit of apple in there. The sweetness, in large part, seems to be attributed to a healthy dose of caramel/toffee malts. There's a hint of toasted nut that emerges late, in addition to an interesting, faint whiskey note. All in all, it's very complex and features a number of fine scents. If it were just a little stronger....

Taste: This flavor is every bit as diverse and complex as the nose. It is sweet up front and slightly sugary. Raisin, plum and fig flavors are a little less pronounced here. Caramel/toffee malts are sweet and very flavorful. They blend with a slight whiskey (or some other spirit) flavor extremely well and create a unique, very tasty flavor. Toasted nut and apple flavors emerge late contributing even more to its complexity and appetizing flavor. Alcohol is not noted. Finish is rich and sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's full bodied and incredibly smooth. This is one of those rare concoctions that could be labeled "liquid silk." Despite the active carbonation, it's as smooth as can be. Drinkability is extremely high. Even at 8% abv, this is a beer I could drink all night long and ask for more...please.

Westvleteren 8 is one hell of an incredible beer. Frankly, it's slightly better than the 12. Just my personal preference. The only complaint I have is that the nose is slightly weak. Other than that, this is an extremely complex and excellent beer. Simply a "must get" for any BA.

prototypic, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%

359 reviews as of this writing. thanks to azurelimits for the chance to try this fine beer. Since there are so many reviews I'll note that I have no idea of how old this one is. For the rest I'll say wow, this beer is good. That's the technical review. I am impressed at how the Westy yeasts combined with what I can only imagine is a mineral water quality creates such an amazing experience. It is that good! I'd recommend it to anyone who has a chance to try this fine beer.

barleywinebrewer, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of IPAcraig
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

I had to go through a lot to get this beer back from Belgium, my honeymoon. Running through charles de Gaulle as security chases me. 16 months later I am opening this gem.

Pours a semi transparent ruby brownish color. The head explodes after pouring (4 fingers) but after a minute it settles to about nothing. Has a cola type appearance at this point, no head but alot of bubbles streaming in it.

Sweet figs and cream. Velvety.

Sweetened walnuts and creamy fruit goodness. Really smooth. this beer doesn't disappoint. Better than the hype.

I mentioned this beer had a sweet aroma and taste, but the mouthfeel is light and well carbonated. Not heavy in the least bit.

This has become my stranded island beer. That is the highest compliment I can give it.

IPAcraig, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of julian
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%

Received in a trade from zaf88. Thanks for the opportunity!

A: pours a murky cola brown color with ruby highlights around the edges. Reasonably frothy off white almond colored head. bits of sediment near the end of the bottle.

S: incredibly fruity, sweet smell with barely any alcohol noticeable. Again, similar to Westy 12, this smells like berry pie or sweet berry punch.

T&M: lots of carbonation, very bubbly. taste is of sugary sweet malt and dark fruits both of which are dominant yet not overkill in their taste. Great balance and complexity. Alcohol completely masked and no discernible bitterness. Taste lingers for quite awhile, with the sweet fruits and malts really taking over your palate and sinking into every crevice of your taste buds. Taste is fantastic!

D: Perfect. I could drink this all night long.

What a great beer, I think I like this better than Westy 12. This is a superb beer and one that I wish I had more of. I'm just glad I was able to try this unique and rare offering.

julian, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of JEdmund
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance
Deep, dark brown and nearly black, sporting a towering tan head that sticks around for quite a while

Smell
Not a big component of the beer, but I detect some sour notes, minerals, brown sugar, and even orange

Taste & Mouthfeel
Flavors are subtle and hard to describem but they are smooth and balanced the whole way through; finishes with pronounced alchol heat; body is somewhat thin; fine carbonation, though does not lead to the velvety texture found in an Orval or even Duvel; light flavors of caramel, brown sugar dominate the spectrum, but there's also a presence of grain and toasted malts

Overall
It's a really good beer, but I don't believe it lives up to the hype. I find too much fault in the thin body, weak aroma, and noticeable alcohol to give it a perfect rating. Definitely a treat to try in Belgium though!

JEdmund, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Blakaeris
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

Pours caramel brown with a fluffy tan head. Plenty of yeasty floaties.

Aroma is musty and yeasty, with mild dark fruit and dry apple. Very mild overall.

Taste continues with the very musty and dry aspect, reminiscent of an old ale. Mild dark fruit soaked in alcohol. Subdued citrus character. Dry cocoa and a touch of woody, earthy hop in the mildly spiced finish.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth and soft.

Tasty and interesting. Quite smooth and dangerously easy to drink. High ABV is very well hidden. Flavor is mild and unified. I will drink more if I can get a hold of it.

Blakaeris, Jul 24, 2008
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,645 ratings.