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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.

1,648 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,648
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,201
Gots: 252 | 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
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Ratings: 1,648 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of julian
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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
Photo of bashiba
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark brown with lots of sediment, a big creamy tan head that left some minor lacing. Lots of carbonation running throughout.

Has a big and fruity smell with some herbal and spicy qualities.

Flavor is very nice with a mixture of dark fruitys, figs, chocolate, toffee, and cloves with a bit of a minty bit of hops in the finish. Very balanced and mellow yet it still has a lot of flavors and deep complexity.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with a nice medium body and lots carbonation, yet finishes very dry and clean.

Very easy drinking and tasty belgian, would be a mainstay in my fridge if it was readily available.

bashiba, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Four-year-old bottle--a gift from a friend. Poured into a silver-rimmed Westvleteren chalice, a nearly opaque, dark, rusty brown, with shimmering ruby hues, a tightly-laced creamy beige head atop, and a settled, healthy, ringed lace. Toffee in the nose, along with a suggestion of dates. On the palate, very dry up front, and incredibly complex beneath. Powdery malts, dextriny notes of carob, honey, and a spike of sherry. Similar malted milky sweetness profile found in the Blonde, but with more depth. Soft prune, date sugar, hint of anise, slightly roasty around the edges, carob and a brush of toffee. Light phenols, herbal. Slightly fumy alcohol on the breath. Dry, powdery finish.

Westvleteren 8 is fine aged, but it's become a bit too dry and muted for our liking. Delicious fresh, and arguably better than Westvleteren 12 in drinkability.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of yemenmocha
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy dark brown, perhaps amber-ish when held to direct light. Sediment crept into the glass in spite of my best efforts.

Nose is complex mixture of musty attic, apple core, unsalted walnut, and wet black tea teabag. Reminds me of scented coca-cola ink pen that I had in childhood.

Palate is noticeably creamy, high carbonation, coating the palate well - and leads into a soft caramel, ginger/cinnamon flavor that is rounded out with hop bitterness proceeding into the finish. Reminiscent of cola flavors in general.

Aftertaste reminsicent of quality black tea.

yemenmocha, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of scootny
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay Chalice. A thick tan had rises up and gently fades to a thin, ever present covering. A constant stream of bubbles is barely visible through the murky bottle-brown ale. There is a decent amount of yeast in my glass despite my gentle pour. Bits of lace adorn my glass.

Smell is rich with the aroma of toffee, malt, raisins, light banana, Belgian yeast and spices.

Taste is heaven in a glass. Sweet, smooth, delectable malt artfully blended with toffee, chocolate, molasses, light coffee, banana, raisins, figs, and spices. Yeast plays the part of binding it together. It also brings out a brandy like aspect to the taste. The finish is lightly bitter, just enough to clean your palate and set you up for the next sip. Short and rather dry there remains a light grainy taste of graham crackers and bread in the back of your throat. Superb. I would probably add more but my glass is almost empty. There are so many layers to the taste you can find something new with each sip.

Mouthfeel is super creamy and gently carbonated. Like liquid velvet.

Drinkability is the best I have ever experienced for a dubbel. A benchmark sipping beer. If you have enough to spend the night drinking it I'm jealous.

My thanks to my Westy traders bdrc, hrking, krkearny,ggaughan, banker joe

scootny, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #200! Bottle courtesy of deepsouth poured into my trusty Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours dark, dark cola brown with a big rocky off-white head that shows very good retention and excellent lacing.

S: Aroma is very sweet initially with candi sugar and a healthy dose of Belgian yeast in the nose as well. Dark fruits are also prevalent with a hint of spices on top.

T: Taste is a more complex version of the nose. The sweetness is toned down just slightly with caramel and toffee playing a huge role on top of the dark fruits. Molasses sweetness is there in the background.

M: Mouthfeel is truly exceptional - the perfect balance of medium to full body and high carbonation. The tastes just dance all over the tongue.

D: This is one of the better examples of a Dubbel I've ever had and the drinkability is off the charts. Big thanks again to Jason for the opportunity to try all of the Westies!

gford217, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of Biggness
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow I spent a few bucks to buy this beer but boy was it worth it! It poured amber, very cloudy with lots of sediment! The smell was amazing, just like any other well crafted beer. The taste was amazing, the flavors meshed very well with the overlying malt flavors with some nut. The mouthfeel was nice a littl different from your normal beer with all the sediment. I wish I could afford to drink this all the time

Biggness, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of Hibernator
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trappist Westvleteren 8
11.2 oz brown bottle with a unique blue cap
Served in a Chimay goblet

Pours a dark brown with a rocky head that forms on top. A mixture of sticky lacings and spots cling to the glassware.

Whiffs of funky Belgian yeast, strong spices and ripe plums in the nose.

A syrupy and malty flavor dominates the palate. I think of flavors like caramel, toffee & dark fruits such as prunes and rum-soaked raisins. All of these flavors blend quite nicely with a significant sugar presence. The bitterness is quite modest overall, yet still there. I really dig the bitterness as well, the carbonation bubbles prick the tongue. The drinkability level is ridiculously good.

Wonderfully complex and so enjoyable. I could sip this beer all night long, a phenomenal Dubbel overall. This is another world class beer from Westvleteren - highly recommended.

Hibernator, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle received as an EXTRA from largadeer. Thanks a million, Chris! Stamp on bottle cap says 01.09.10. Poured into my Chimay chalice

A: Deep reddish brown with a thin but persistent beige head. Great retention - there's a constant head until I finish! There's a fair amount of carbonation creeping up the side of the glass. Pretty.

S: Complex with a combination of figs, brown sugar, nougat. Mildly alcoholic. Excellent

T: I'm having a hard time describing this. As with the nose, it's complex and very, very subtle. Starts off mildly sweet with hints of fruit (plum and figs), honey, and then dries up fairly quickly leaving a nutty finish.

M: Incredible. Soft and smooth despite the high level of carbonation that makes this dance on the tongue. Dry.

D: I'd drink another if I had one.

DefenCorps, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of tubaguy
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(poured into a goblet)

A- pours a dark, dark brown (almost black) with a tan head which dissolved in a few minutes into a thin layer but never completely disappeared.

S- wonderful fruity aroma with spices and caramel

T- evolves over a 10 second period after each sip: coffee, chocolate, spices, plum, raisin, and other indescribable sensations. Though 'only' 8% , I tasted the alcohol as it went down the throat. Interestingly, I tasted pepper when I exhaled after drinking. An occasional twirl of the glass woke up the taste as well.

D- feels thick on the tongue but smooth. Drink this slowly and savor every sip if you're fortunate enough to acquire it! Its like drinking the world's greatest dessert.

tubaguy, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of philipquarles
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

At Cafe in de Vrede. Pours almost black with a thick two finger, off-white head that lasts and lasts. After a few sips, the lacing is--well, not even lacing, more like a sheet of foam clinging to all sides of the glass. Held up to a light source, the 8 is a beautiful dark ruby red. The nose is fantastic; fruitiness comes through first. Banana, date, cherries, etc. Incredible malt too, along with lots of earthy and floral notes. The taste matches the richness and complexity of the smell and then some. Once again, fruit-like hints are definitely present at first, and then give way to dark complexity. Hints of spice. Hoppiness at the end. Quite sweet, overall. The mouthfeel is another great factor. This is what beer should feel like--a thickness to it that coats the mouth, though it's not syrupy. Good stuff.

philipquarles, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of tdt560
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thankfully recieved a couple of "8"'s and a couple of "12"'s thanks to a family friend that just visited Amsterdam. I had asked her to pick me up some from the De Bierkoning Beershop, thanks to azorie's beer mail for guidance.

Appearance - Poured from bottle (cellared, date marked on cap 10.07.99) into a St. Bernardus chalice, deep cherry brown with 1 to 1.5 finger of eggshell white colored head, good lacing. Some flakes of yeast floating.

Smell - Some fruit, chocolate and plum smells with an addition of a strong smell of alcohol (probably due to it's age, hence the lower mark for smell). To be honest the smell wasn't overly attractive to me, actually somewhat turned me off at first which led me to believe that this was going to be overhyped (much to my surprise).

Taste - Taste is fabulous, semi-sweet and smooth with tastes of chocolate candy, fruit, bread and a slight spiceness. Warming alcohol effect, which isn't exactly what I need on a 95+ degree day but good none the less. Incredibly smooth!

Mouthfull - Medium, creamy mouthfull with a slight dryness upon swallowing.

Drinkability - As much as I could see myself believing that this beer is overhyped, I surely tell you it is not. I could definitley see myself drinking a few of these but it probably wouldn't be practical nor very cost effective. A beer to savor and enjoy while relaxing and being able to enjoy the complexity. If you can get your hands on one, which isn't exactlly easy or cheap, I would highly recommend trying this, obviously!

tdt560, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of Dubbercody
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had two different samples one labeled as 20 years old and one 1-2 years old.

Both fantastic in their own right. I'm very impressed with how the 20 year bottle held up. Some oxidation, but it added to the flavor profile. Whomever I got if from took care of it...thank you.

Dark reddish brown ale, with a head on the newer one. Nose brought out a lot of fruits and nuttiness. Feels fantastic in your mouth, nice thick coating feel.

Great beers!

Dubbercody, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to deepsouth for the chance to savor this awesome brew...

I poured this into a Duvel tulip and it is quite dark and murky in appearance. Almost a walnut color... It quickly forms a 2-3 inch tan foamy head that slowly fades into an 1/8 or so...

The first aroma I got from this was raspberry and sweet malts... The raspberry started out faint but got more prevalent as it warmed up...I can also smell plums or some other sweet dark fruit present... Maybe a little chocolate...a touch of booze..gets way deeper and more complex the longer I let it sit...

The first sip is a doozy... Its boozy and much drier than I thought it would be, but absolutely delicious. Its quite crisp and floral and fruity with the raspberries coming in as well as some earthy leather, some funky Belgian yeast, and the merest hint of chocolate...its got one of the creamiest mouthfeels in a Belgian that I've ever experienced.. Its creamy at first then snaps off abrubtly into a dry booziness...

I'm sad to see my only bottle go but I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to try this. I wasn't disappointed at all and to make it even more ezciting, I still have a 12 to drink.

Tilley4, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of punkindrublic50
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

punkindrublic50, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of FatheadBrew
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.


FatheadBrew, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Georgiabeer, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of lpayette
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

lpayette, May 18, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

Hojaminbag, May 13, 2008
Photo of JToad
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

JToad, May 10, 2008
Photo of pheggeseth
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

pheggeseth, May 05, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Goliath, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Traquairlover, Apr 25, 2008
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,648 ratings.