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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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1,768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,768
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,260
Gots: 288 | 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: 1,768 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of scootny
4.85/5  rDev +8%
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

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!

Photo of Biggness
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Photo of Hibernator
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of tubaguy
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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.

Photo of tdt560
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
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!

Photo of Dubbercody
4.02/5  rDev -10.5%
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!

Photo of Tilley4
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of punkindrublic50
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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.


Photo of Georgiabeer
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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.

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!

Photo of JToad
4.85/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of pheggeseth
4.85/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Goliath
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of Med
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

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

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.

Photo of Avryle
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,768 ratings.