Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 1,632 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
4.63/5 rDev +3.1%
Carries the flavor of the famous Westvleteren 12, but without so much of the depth or complexity. Still an amazing beer, more drinkable in the sense that if you have 3 your head doesn't start swimming, but you cant shake the feeling that the 12 is that much better and what you really want. Similar to Dogfish 90/120 in that sense, the 90 is good in its own right but still just pales in comparison to its big brother.
Anyhow, the beer itself looks and smells excellent, extremely dark with a tan head. Definite mix of darker fruits and malts, goes down extremely easy especially for a beer with 8% alcohol. Nicely carbonated, and like its big brother best enjoyed at the cafe opposite the monastery for the full experience.
06-18-2008 04:00:40 | More by punkindrublic50
4.13/5 rDev -8%
My sister brought this back from Belgium for me.
A: Pours very dark purplish with some ruby highlights poking through. Large 3 finger billowy head forms and lasts throughout drinking.
S: Fruity, maybe grapes or figs, subtle malt, hint of roast at the end
T: Starts off sweet. Faintly fruity. Biscuity middle. Dry, slightly bitter finish. Very complex, but not overly powerful flavors.
M: Smooth, fills the mouth with flavor. Perfect carbonation.
D: Good. Went down very easy for 8%. The finish kind of got me though.
Overall a very nice beer. I don't know if I would say it is in the top 10 beers I have ever had. Wish I had a couple more though.
06-16-2008 03:30:00 | More by FatheadBrew
4.8/5 rDev +6.9%
So I finally get to try some Westvleteren 8, and I'm pleasantly surprised. After all the hype I was sure I would be fairrly let down, even though I had a good experience with the 12. I figured that this beer would be somewhat ridding on the coattails of that beer. I was wrong. The first impression upon tasting this was Wow!, this is so fruity and lively. It was much brighter tasting than I expected, extremely floral and with some nice hop bite in the finish. The predominant flavor seeemed to be honeysuckle. Light and effervescent in the mouth, this was unbelievably drinkable and pleasant. The pour was a dark amber with little head, but the aromas immediately lure you in with fresh fruity and floral notes with a bit of metal underneath. Really a classy beer, and if it were more available one that I would probably drink more often than the 12- as much as I love that beer.
06-01-2008 16:17:30 | More by Georgiabeer
4.97/5 rDev +10.7%
Thanks to a fellow BA for trading this. Cap date reads 25.08.08, enjoyed 18.05.08.
Appearance - After a careful pour into a chalice, this beer produced about 1/2 finger's worth of head atop a deep mohogany body. The head is made up of millions of very tiny bubbles. plenty of lacing
Smell - the initial pop of the cap produced a hiss that expelled some gas that smelled like granny smith apples. It's more faint after being poured, but that characteristic does remain. Belgian candy sugar abounds, along with a gentle caramel aroma and a soft herbal aroma. More discrete notes include chocolate, a near oatmeal-like quality, molasses/brown sugar, mild phenols, and moderately faint alcohol esters.
Taste & Mouthfeel - Finally for the tasting part... The taste is like a volume knob starting up high, then being turned down low in the middle, then slightly up again at the finish. Somewhere mid-sip the beer almost seems to cleanse itself off your palate, but then the flavors come back strong in the aftertaste. So clean just like the other westvleteren beers. Other dubbels try to overdo the sweetness, but this one seems to be about perfect. Slightly drying/bitter at the finish after a few sips, but certainly not too dry for me. Lightly carbonated which seems just the right amount to me.
Drinkability/last word- highly drinkable, although not as much as the 6 though. Still, for the style, I've never had a beer that was more drinkable than this one. For me this is certainly the new benchmark when it comes to dubbels. As with the 12 and the 6, the hype behind this beer is well merited.
05-18-2008 07:35:52 | More by lpayette
4.97/5 rDev +10.7%
Got this bottle in a trade from Vancer. Cracked it open to celebrate the end of finals. Thanks a lot Vance, this could be the only chance I have for awhile to get my hands on this Gem. I'm eager to see if it lives up to the hype.
Dark mahongoney color with three fingers of light brown head. Decent retention, but not a ton of lacing.
Smells like bread mixed with some raspberry in there. A hint of chocolate too.
A little bit of fruity sweetness up front, followed by the malty choclate/toffee. Next is the bready yeasty flavor. Slight alcohol on the finish. Every flavor remains on the palate, layered and tasty. This brew is very complex yet smooth and balanced at the same time. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated. Definitely the best Dubbels I have ever had, hands down. One of the best beers period actually.
Great drinkability, I'm already sad this is my only bottle!
05-13-2008 00:51:46 | More by Hojaminbag
4.88/5 rDev +8.7%
Thanks to Zaf88 for hooking me up with this one. The anticpation has been built up for sometime obviously.
Poured into a chalice a dark deep burgundy, almost black. Carbonation is heavy.
Smells of dark raspberry, malt and hints of chocolate, toffee.
Tastes of dark fruit, slight citrus, almost like a sparkling grape juice, although not nearly as sweet.
Carbonation continues throught the life of the beer. Starts of robust, partially bitter, with a real sharp bite at the end. Crisp and refreshing, this beer is definetely lighter than its appearance.
I almost feel like I drank this too fast. It was so complex, yet kept in balance. This could be a session beer, just for the simple fact that it leaves you wanting more.
Def. worthy of the hype, one of the best beers I have ever had. Everything you expect a belgian to be, and then some. Amazing.
05-10-2008 00:13:06 | More by JToad
4.88/5 rDev +8.7%
07/07/10 on the cap. All glory laud and honor to PHawk for the trade.
A: pours a darkish gold settling into a dark semi-opaque ruby brown, two finger tan head with a creamy composition
S: gentle spices, tart apples, raspberry mixed with phenol, sweetness in the back
T: first impression very smooth, intricate layers of flavor underneath, chocolate and toffee mixed with dark fruit (black cherry or date?), subtle spiciness emerges from the middle, some sugary sweetness (like carmelized brown sugar) and bready yeast as it tapers, slight hoppy tang right at the end as it warms, I could probably go on forever
D: so smooth and subtle it's a challenge to truly appreciate it. I could pound it, but I know it'd be a sin. Wonderful.
05-05-2008 15:28:18 | More by pheggeseth
4.3/5 rDev -4.2%
Pours a dark brown and is opaque with a large one inch light tan head sitting on top. Good retention and a little lacing.
Aroma is simple, but nice. Sweet ripe fruits, plums and raisins. A gentle maltiness is also available.
Taste is nice. A big bready malt taste dominates. Some sweet ripe fruits, noteably plums. There is also a slight alcohol tinge, but I think the beer could stand to be a few degrees cooler.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice carbonation.
Drinkability is moderate. Great flavors make for easy consumption, but moderately high alcohol limit consumption. A great beer.
04-27-2008 11:43:53 | More by Goliath
4.28/5 rDev -4.7%
33cl bottle poured into a chalice. Cap is stamped 20.12.09.
A = Dark mahogany with small frothy off white or light tan head made up of foam and medium to large bubbles.
S = Maple syrup with sharp tart fruit esters, some amounts of Greek or Middle Eastern spices.
T = Chocolate malted milk shake but without much of the sweetness, a slight bitter coffee or bittersweet chocolate along with light spice notes, nice well balanced beer.
M = Medium to medium heavy body, good mouthcoating, excellent frothy mouthfeel.
D = This is a very nice beer, I could definitely drink more of these, though with 8% ABV, I might limit myself to one per occasion.
04-24-2008 23:53:40 | More by Traquairlover
4.53/5 rDev +0.9%
Poured at around 55 degrees into a Duvel tulip.
A - A dark crimson brown color. Very clean and clear. Two finger off-white creamy head reduces in size but never goes away. Lacing is also very good. I can not think how the presentation could be improved.
S - Molasses, brown sugar, some yeast and plum. Alcohol is noticeable in the nose but not in a bad way. Every time I raise the glass to my nose I get something new: now there is some hints of caramel and cocoa.
T - Initial impression was a little too sweet at the start and a little too yeasty at the finish but after about 10 minutes it has really come together. I'm actually tasting a little oak here which is odd. Incredibly well balanced. Just sweet enough with a caramel finish. Alcohol is not at all forward. Slight tartness that stay with me in the sides of the mouth.
M - Initially had a bit too much fizz, but again after a few minutes settled down to "just right". Enough carbonation to be exciting but not so much as to distract. Tiny bubbles. Surprisingly full-body.
D - The only thing that stops me from having another is the expense and lack of availability.
I was a little skeptical going into this, and the first few tastes had me wondering what the big deal was. Now I get it.
04-21-2008 22:32:41 | More by Med
4.1/5 rDev -8.7%
Many thanks to Jeff at TJ'sEveryday for sharing this beauty with me. This is another one of those beers I just assumed I'd never get to try.
Perhaps unrealistic expectations did this beer in, but I was not as blown away by this beer as I expected to be. This was actually the consensus of everyone trying this beer this evening, so maybe there was something a bit off with either the beer or us. Of course some of us had just come from a IPA/DIPA festival, so that might have been a factor as well. In any event....
The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and fair lacing. The beer smells pretty rich on the nose, with a complex blend of citrus, chocolate malt and Belgium funk. However, the sweet chocolate malt aroma dominated this beer. On the palate, again this beer was pretty malty and sweet, with flavors of chocolate and carob. There is also some brown sugar and flavors reminiscent of German chocolate cake. It was good, but hardly mind blowing. The beer was very smooth and it finished very well. The abv. is very well disguised and it was pretty drinkable.
A very nice beer, but just not quite what I was expecting or hoping. It was good, but I kept on thinking there should be more to it. Oh well...
04-14-2008 00:16:19 | More by John_M
4.97/5 rDev +10.7%
Cap dated 15.08.10
Big up to Doc Seamus for the share. Nothing like a great beer on a nice spring day.
A: Pours a dark slightly hazy cola like color. Tons of lacing and off white head.
S: Tons of everything. Malt. Grapes big time. Belgian candy sugar. Wow really nice.
T: Simply incredible. This is the definition of dark fruits. So much you cannot even comprehend it.
M: Sooo smooth. Incredible body. Amazing mouthfeel.
D: I could drink this all day. Every taste is distinct and not dominating. So incredibly complex. What else can be said....
Update: Did a mini vertical of this. A 99 06 and 07. The 99 blew the other away. It was like a really good sherry and made the other seems boozy which they were not. Definately worth holding on to for a year or two. Or 9.
04-13-2008 23:56:39 | More by aerozeppl
4.63/5 rDev +3.1%
Cap dated 15.08.10
Huge thanks to drseamus for sharing this on such a beutiful day over tales of skeksies.
A- Pours a dark, silghtly hazy, dun color with a creamy off-white head. Head slowly settles to a thin cap with patchy lacing
S- Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar and grapes. The nose is incredible. Very rich.
T- Verty similar to the nose. Rich malt flavors of toffee & caramel of with notes of cherries and dates. Slight bittering hop finish to balance the taste. Warm & dry, brandy-like finish. No flavors dominate the others.
M- So smooth and creamy. Wow. Nice medium body with an ideal amount of carbonation. I could drink this all day.
D- So easy to drink. Its so well-balanced that nothing reaches out & kicks you in the teeth with its overwhelming presence.
04-13-2008 13:06:43 | More by Avryle
4.5/5 rDev +0.2%
11.2 ounce bottle, cap stamped with 08.06.09. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a murky cola-like brown with a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing is good. Aroma is caramel, dark fruit, belgian yeast, peppery spice, brown sugar and molasses. Taste is belgian yeast, dark fruit, pepper/spice, candy sugar, tart apples and brown sugar. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's smooth and easy to drink. I drank this right after I drank the 12, and it's not quite as good as the 12 is but it's still a very good beer. My opinion of this is the same as it is with the 12, it's not worth the price to drink it all the time but it's worth the price to get a couple bottles to try because it is very good (and because of the availability). I'd definitely recommend this to others to try.
04-13-2008 01:31:06 | More by bluejacket74
4.93/5 rDev +9.8%
Bottle aged for a least 1 year.
Nose of bread dough with a earthiness and a vanilla/caramel sweetness were noted.
A nice red brown with a frothy head and great lacing.
Medium sweetness with vanilla and cookie dough with some nice earthy notes.
This is very nice beer that is easy on the palate and I could drink a lot more of if it were more available.
04-08-2008 05:43:45 | More by HumuloneRed
4.75/5 rDev +5.8%
This bottle, of indeterminate age, had an attractive white label and the distinctive blue Westy 8 cap. I shared this with some fine friends at a cool spring evening's tasting and all proclaimed it excellent. From notes:
Westvleteren 8 is a hazy copper, dark in the center of the glass, and sports a small lingering spotty head of foam. Good retention throughout the duration. Some sediment. Nothing unusual. But then!
The smell is, honestly and easily, the finest I've ever had from a Dubbel. The best beers of a style often make your senses stand up and take notice and say "I'd have not expected this!" Westvleteren 8 is such a Dubbel.
The initial nose is sweet and complex fruity malts. Then you get figs, faint old hops, a slight sour fruit and musty, floral smell and just a hint of alcohol. Spice and fruit, grain and booze - simply sublime! Soothing and reassuring - and tempting.
After a few sips, a classic Dubbel emerges. Musty and fruity, light toffee blended with clove and flowery esters, a hint of perhaps cinnamon and nuts. Complicated yet mild, and finishes with a fantastic sweet-dry caramel finish that leaves a calling card. The mouthfeel is perfect, creamy and smooth and relaxing.
Westvleteren gets a lot of buzz, but there's a reason. They really are THAT good. I'm happy to report that this beer nearly lives up to the hype - and given the amount of hysteria that surrounds the beer, that's astounding.
Exceptional. Highest recommendation for the Belgian beer lover.
04-01-2008 16:59:09 | More by kkipple
4.78/5 rDev +6.5%
Thanks to Josh from Vintage Beer and Wine for the generous hookup...I have tried the 12 and 8 due to his efforts. Sorry Josh, temptation was too great, had to open it!
I decided to do a Pepsi challenge by drinking the Westvletaren and Rochefort 8's at the same time, so I will rate the Westy and then share some comparative notes afterwards.
A--Deep brown, just the slightest red tones. Not a ton of head after a careful pour. Sticky lacing to be sure.
S--Sweet and fruity. Really nice aroma.
T--This bottle is pretty new and I can tell that it needed a good bit of time to mature and get more complex. That being said, incredibly complex and tons of things going on. Pears, apples, raisins, cherries, all seem to come out with each sip. Outstanding to be sure.
M--It is beers like this that make me understand this category a little better. So silky smooth on the palate, impressive.
D--A little difficult to give this beer a 5 in this category because of the incredible difficulty finding this beer and its general rarity. Each sip is a little depressing because I realize it gets closer to an empty chalice.
The Rochefort 8 does a pretty good job of holding up. Deeper and certainly has a little more of a punch. You can taste the alcohol more with the Rochefort. A little more head, a little more lacing. If somebody put a gun to my head and said choose, I am not sure which direction. Westy by a nosehair???
03-30-2008 18:44:25 | More by garbercury
4.6/5 rDev +2.4%
A: Pours a dark, almost cola-brown, with a single finger of foam on the top of it. No lacing is left on the glass with this one.
S: Belgian yeast, bread, and some dark fruits. Not much, but it's still pretty solid.
T: This is where this brew shines. Taste is full of dark fruit, yeast, bread, and nice hints of chocolate throughout. Alcohol warms a bit, but is quite pleasant.
M: Smooth, with a nice deal of carbonation.
D: This is an easy-drinking Belgian. Quite tasty, and enjoyable. Were it not so rare, I would quite happily drink it frequently.
03-29-2008 22:30:56 | More by YonderWanderer
4.38/5 rDev -2.4%
Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. It appears brown with red highlights and an off-white head.
Smells a bit like chocolate graham cracker and malted milk balls (a possible hint of oxidation maybe as it's not far from cardboard) with a touch of funk. Very biscuity and nutty like a brown ale at times, interesting. Not what I expected, but not out of line for the style.
The initial flavor is of smooth Belgian chocolate with candied dates. There seems to be a sprtiz of sweet cherry and herbal hops at the end, while the finish is slightly sweet with notes of caramel and toffee.The flavors are subtle like a great English bitter and while the flavor is sweet, it's well balanced and never cloying.
The body is medium and the carbonation is light, but just enough. Overall, it's very drinkable. It just strikes me as a very well made beer. If it weren't so damned rare it'd be easy to sit down and drain a few of these bottles. I think I can settle for Rochefort 8, however. I'd like to taste those head to head.
Hype factor: Doesn't live up to it in my book, but for me, hyped beers rarely do. Maybe one of the most drinkable Belgian's I've had, and easily the best dubbels I've had. I just had the Allagash dubbel a few days ago, and while a very nice beer, I found it a bit lighter and not quite as pleasing. I must say, however, I don't think with is worthy of being considered a top 10 in the world beer.
03-28-2008 02:55:59 | More by tempest
5/5 rDev +11.4%
Now this is a great Belgian. It had miles of creamy tan head that lasted for a couple minutes. It reduces down to a silky foam floating on the top. The beer itself was a dark reddish brown. The taste of sweet, yeast, caramel does a great job of hiding the 8% alcohol that sneaks up on you. The beer is thick enough to cover your tongue with the rich taste of heavenly trappist ale you will definately remember.
03-25-2008 04:33:17 | More by dalion037
4.55/5 rDev +1.3%
Thanks to Jw347 for this rare treat
Bottle poured into my chalice produced a finger worth of off white head that turned to a thin lace. The body was a burgundy color
Aromas of a red wine in some ways tons of dark fruit
Wow great flavors dark fruit malts and a citrus bitter
Great mouthfeel nice carbonation on the tongue
Highly drinkable will seek out again I am enjoying this on and will continue to enjoy it with my Easter dinner as a tribute to the monks
03-23-2008 17:31:32 | More by joepais
4.68/5 rDev +4.2%
Pours with an off-white foamy, mostly lasting head. It has a deep amber colour. Lovely fruity aroma. Palate with notes of caramel, raisins and roasted malt. Little sweet/ bitter aftertaste. Praise God who inspirited the monks to create this little miracle.
03-03-2008 20:52:07 | More by HotHabanero
4.35/5 rDev -3.1%
Thanks to markguggs for the bottle.
Pours a dark auburn color with a creamy tan head that retains until the glass is empty.
Smells like cookie dough with some spice to it. Very pleasant and not overpowering.
Complex flavors that melt together perfectly. The way this beer has so much going on yet remains it's balance amazes me. I taste honey, toast, apples, Belgian yeast and a touch of alcohol in the finish.
Perfect mouthfeel. Big and bold with out being too filling. Silky smooth.
Excellent beer that lives up to the hype and just might be better than the 12 imo.
02-29-2008 04:16:41 | More by wcudwight
4.68/5 rDev +4.2%
This beer pours a rich purple color with a massive head that quickly dissolves.
The smell is that of dark fruit and tart. Not much else to say.
The taste is that of the smell. Dark fruit and a slight tartness make up the taste of this distinct beer.
The mouthfeel is light and creamy. Its very appealing.
Overall, I like this beer. Its quite a treat and an honor to be my beer that achieves my Initiate status.
02-27-2008 03:52:43 | More by iconoklaztor
4.2/5 rDev -6.5%
Thanks to iconoklaztor for the sample.
Pours a very dark black/red. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen.
Taste is a bit tart, with subtle coffee notes. So complex, I can't quite put my finger on it. Very interesting and highly satisfying.
Mouthfeel is quite good and drinkability is amazing for such a big beer.
This is a legend; what else can I say about it.
02-27-2008 03:51:20 | More by bassmantin
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,632 ratings.