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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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1,778 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,778
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.48%
Wants: 1,268
Gots: 299 | FT: 18
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: 1,778 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jbphoto88
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle purchased on ebay as a full "souvenir" bottle. No label just the trademark blue cap from the monastery. I was a little skeptical about the purchase until I poped the cap off. Phssshhhhtttt. This brew poured a dark leathery brown with royal reddish tints. Beautiful. The head is a full two inches in the glass almost the same size of the brown liquid. A fluffy tan pile of perfection that laces the glass and thins as you drink but never disappears.

Smell is complex and enticing... world class. It is a sharp smell that has malts, candied sugar and hints of fruits. A typical belgian beer smell but above average. Nice.

Taste is smooth and rich. It has a slight green apple twinge to it with a deep malt flavor. The mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and there is a nice subtle carbonation. The flavor then flows into a superb yeasty honey flavor. There is a nice sweet candied sugar aftertaste that is reminiscent of eating fine chocolates.

This beer is world class and worth the premium paid on ebay. I now have to make a journey to the monastery in order to fully experience this beer. Does it live up to the hype? Yes. I can't wait for the 12 I have in the fridge.

Photo of tjthresh
3.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is very dark brown with some garnet highlights when held to light. The head started bit and fizzy, then settled to around a quarter inch of khaki foam. My first impression of the nose is cherries. A touch of chocolaty raisins. Some dusty yeast character. Very subtle flavors here. Light cherries, banana chips, roasted nuts, raisins. Hell, lets just call this liquid trail mix. Medium body. High carbonation. Creamy. Well, this is certainly a good beer, but it aint all that.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper amber...very dark...impressive white head that melts very slowly and leaves a delicious sticky lace as it melts.

Aroma is subdued buttery caramel malts...very smooth...wonderfully toasted and sweet.

Taste is toasted amber malts with a burnt characteristic that mellows into a slight hop finish. Nice double however...not as impressive as the 12 is for a quad.

Photo of jellycabbage
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle at the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam, along with the 12. They were serving them both across the street at Cafe Golem, but with such a sought after beer, we couldn't have our first taste of the Westvleterens after knocking back a few other belgian treats.

Poured into a snifter glass. It has a dark color and very nice lacing. Noticed a dark yeast sediment as I poured it into the glass.

Definitely could smell the yeast, almost bread like; very gentle spices.

The taste definitely evolves in your mouth. It begins a tad spiced and with the warming effect it changes to slightly peppery. The carbonation was light, but leaves a long impression in your mouth.

This certainly lived up to expectations. I'm trying to wait a bit before enjoying the 12, but we'll see how long I can hold out.

Photo of grandq
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ol' thanks to pimpp for the twofer of the 8 and 12. Pours a deep reddish brown, thick, billowy head. Smelling apples, raspberries, and mulberry. On first sip, I find the initial carbonation really jarring. Takes a bit of warming and swirling until it gets down to a less distracting level. Getting alot of raspberry on the tongue, plum, cherry, a faint hint of caramel and toffee in the middle of the very mild malt, some spicy yeast/hop notes follow. The water this is made from may have a bit of mineral bittering, but not as strong as a Burton. Nothing is to pronounced and the light mouthfeel lets one explore all the flavors, but I didn't feel it was all that well balanced - perhaps as a result of the aforementioned carbonation.

On the positive side, the finish isn't overly dry, and despite being so sweet this leaves nothing unwanted or too forceful on the tongue as it evaporates. Liking the earthy, barnyardy notes on the very tail end.

Overall, there's some interesting flavors and its no doubt well crafted, but there's nothing really grabbing me here. I'll give this a re-review if I make my way to Belgium one of these days but don't think I'll go to the trouble of tracking down another bottle state-side. Not my favorite dubbel.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pleasure to enjoy this magical beer at the Cambrinus Restaurant in Brugge in complement to a fine late lunch is as welcome in my memory bank as profound as any I have had in all my beer drinking days.

As the beer pours into the challice, the carbonation errupts and threatens to overtak the rim. But alas, it settles into a creamy and rocky set of tightly and loosely knit foam with tremendous staying power and intricate lace to boot. The beer underneath is a dark garnet with lavender highlights carrying a modest yeasty haze. The beer just exudes prowessness.

Delicate and succulent aromas provide a candied fruit scent of powdered sugar, ripe grape, light sherry wines, cahsews, honey, mild chocolate and toast. A mild spicy note that seems somewhat of wine, wood, dried orange peel, and peppercorn come to life just as the first sip is taken.

The taste envelops the mouth, coating it with the taste of powdered sugar, dry malt, red wine, candied grapes, nuts, berries, and the background note of dried pitted fruits like dates and figs. Very well balanced with dry malt tannin, spicy peppercorn, and slight citrus- this beer captures wave after wave of flavor combination with exquisit balance and finesse.

Soft and expansive textures seem to explode in the mouth giving an airy robustness that's somewhat firm and whimsical at the same time. But the beer's ultimate dry and powdery warmth causes it to disolve on the tongue just like cotton candy, and when the beer finishes there's nothing there to swallow- only an impression of dry fruit and spice that lingers softly in aftertaste but easy on the palate and stomach.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap dated 29 10 09

A - Pours a deep brown ruby with ruby highlights and a thin tan head that leaves patches of foam behind.

S - Wonderful aroma. Sweet dark fuits of raisins plums and figs, a hint of caramel and candy sugar, tart apple and some belgian yeast. Very complex.

T - Plums, raisins, figs, slightly tart apple, caramel and candy sugar. Not as complex as the aroma.

M - Slightly creamy with prickly champagne like carbonation and a dry lingering finish.

D - As good as I remember it when I had it in bottles at the Maproom years ago.

Photo of JBogan
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, let's get this out of the way first. This is the best beer I've ever had, bar none. As you can see, I've given it perfect marks in all catagories. I'm not one to give perfect scores either. In fact, of all the beers I've reviewed so far I can only recall giving a beer a perfect score in any catagory once, and that was to the Westvertleten 12 for mouthfeel. So with that in mind, here we go ...

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights. Rich creamy two finger head which stayed through the glass and left excellent lacing.

Smelled of plums, raisins, caramel, subtle spices, and no sign of alcohol that I could detect.

Tasted much like it smelled, a perfect balance of the above mentioned fruits, caramel and spices.

Mouthfeel was superb. Smooth and creamy with just enough carbonation. Medium to thick bodied and smooth. Oh, and did I mention it was smooth?

This is as drinkable as it gets. If someone told me that from this day on I could drink only this beer, I'd say bring it on! My favorite beer on the planet, bar none.

Photo of hrking
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had this in a bottle imported from Belgium to me from a good friend. That's the kicker is the shipping cost on these beers the trip to the Abby and the cost to ship is extreme but the beer is worth it. Light brown appearance with almost a sour farmhouse funk to it very appealing to the palette. Easily drinkable..The only problem was I had 1 bottle the other 2 busted in shipping : ( but it was a treat to be able to drink this rare beers indeed!

Photo of brdc
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a small capped bottle, no label, blue cap, into a goblet.

In the full glass, this is a dark reddish brown beauty with a foamy, well retained tan head. As the amount of fluid goes down, it looks quite clear, tawny-like in color with golden and amber highlights.
Nose is malty and sweet, fruity, caramelized and actually quite spicy, peppery with some hints of alcohol in the background.
Nice carbonation adds to the velvety mouthfeel, with a deep flavor but actually quite light for its taste, adding tremendously to its drinkability.
Its caramelized, malty sweetness is well balanced by the same peppery spiciness suggested on the aroma, and layer upon layer of fruit comes into play. Warmingly alcoholic at times, it is still quite well balanced, and incredibly pleasant.

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from an unlabeled bottle (except cap) into a Chimay chalice. Pours a brownish-red with no head. Small bubbles rising to the surface.

S- Light smell of malt and molasses. Not much nose at all.

T- Tastes of toffee, coffee, and chocolate. I also get some fruit punch type flavor. Very interesting brew. I enjoyed this wholly.

M- Medium carbonation. Nice feel across the tongue.

D- Very tasty beer. The beer is somewhat light but full flavored. Great beer overall.

Photo of NoLiberty
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A treat to try this for the first time.

Appearance is a beautiful rich, clear deep brown/amber/burgundy. Very steady head retention with low lacing. The aroma is medium strength, but very consistent. Raisin, malt, and some alcohol. Simple but effective and good. The taste is nice warm and malty front followed by a balanced fruity middle and finishes dry with subtle aftertaste of caramel and some nutty chestnut notes. Mouthfeel is good, very mouth filling. Carb is nice in the middle but not totally present. Water is soft and incredibly drinkable.

Photo of deepsouth
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i drank this over the weekend out of a unibroue la fin du monde glass.

the appearance was brownish in color with a hint of red to it. the head is creamy and thick with beautiful lacing and great retention. noticibly carbonated.

the smell is where it's at with this beer. at first it was less than expected, but the smells really came out as it warmed. the smell was big on the caramel and toffee end for me. the alcohol really settled into the smell over time as well.

the taste is of caramel, chocolate, toasty and malty. i'd best describe it as a chocolate covered cherry maltball.

the mouthfeel is creamy and thick with great carbonation.

i loved the taste this beer. well balanced and not too much alcohol taste.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a ruby tint - thick head and nice lacing. The aroma is malty and somewhat caramel with the alcohol becoming noticeable as the beer warms. The taste is malty and caramel. Cherry flavors are noticeable. I also picked up a hint of chocolate at the end. The mouthfeel is quite full and suites the flavors. This is simply a delicious beer.

Photo of GbVDave
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a St. Bernurdus chalice. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to HeatherAnn for the incredible Christmas present!!!

Best before 29.09.10

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with an incredible two-finger, light khaki-colored head of a luxurious creamy consistency that leaves lace draping all over the inside of the glass.

S: Big, tangy, dark fruit aromas, right off the bat. Plums, figs, rum-raisin bread pudding. A slight berry quality as well. Vanilla bean, caramel, molassas, and dark chocolate.

T: Sweet (but not cloyingly, so) caramel malt, vanilla, and chocolate dominate at the beginning. These are followed, closely, by brown sugar, raisins, plums, figs, light hoppiness, and black pepper. Incredible!

M: So. Very. Creamy. The creaminess is complimented expertly by a dry, hoppy, astringency that makes this beer absolutely come alive on the tongue.

D: So smooth and creamy and easy to drink. I don't think it gets much better than this!!!

Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a pancake batter head that drapes sheets of lace

Smell: Very different aromatics from this one - phenolic scent of caramelized apple, rum-soaked raisins, french toast with vanilla sugar, honey and almonds

Taste: Opens with a rum-soaked raisin and caramel flavor with budding vanilla flavors by mid-palate; Amaretto, as well; after the swallow, the caramel, creme brulee takes over and additional alcohol appears on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; very smooth

Drinkability: While very similar to its boozy cousin, this one is less sweet and less alcoholic and, in my opinion, much more drinkable

Thanks, UncleJimbo, for the long-awaited experience

Photo of korndog
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

55F into a Tulip. Poured a bit lighter and with a more aggressive head than the 12. Dissipating head cratered from the middle and left a high lacing that looks like it's going to stick around. More spicy nose than big bro, with the expected candi syrup, yeast, and general dark, earthy goodness. Carbonation danced nicely on the sides of my pallete fanning the heavenly fumes back into my nose. Having reviewed the 12 first, I now understand what it will become after a good bit of cellaring. This beer is very drinkable and has a less cloying mouthfeel than 12, but does not carry the sublime messages to my brain. The fruit, raisiny, slightly phenolic notes are there, and make for an intreesting journey. This is a beer I would serve to my father in law as my best brew.

Photo of Overlord
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this on a very special occasion.

Color is dark amber-ish brown, with gleams of carnelian around the edges. Nice look. Inch or so tan head, lasted a good long while.

Smell is quite "viney", grapes, caramel, and malt/sugar. Taste is surprisingly sweet. This is a heady, carbonated brew. Sweet malt blends predominate, with some definite dark fruits, a bit of citrus, and some spices thrown in.

All in all, an excellent beer, but not truly epic.

Photo of TexIndy
3.23/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got from Belgium Shoppe earlier this year and have been aging it for special occasion so opened for birthday and 250th review. Poured from a 33cl bottle with 26.08.09 on the cap. It was a dark ruby color with lots of yeast bits. It had a small head that quickly dissipated. The smell was sweet malts and dark fruits. Not very strong. The taste was even weaker - almost watered down. It didn't really have any dominant traits and for a dubbel was surprisingly bland. Really had no bite at all. Maybe something happened to it during shipping but this one is definitely overhyped and not worth the high scores. I got the 12 in the same shipment and it was really good so surprised by how bland this one was. Will try again during my trip to Belgium next year just to be sure but for now won't be ordering any overseas again. (3, NA, Tie, N)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phawk for the bottle.

Poured into a Westmalle goblet with a good head and great lacing. I did see a small amount of dark yeast fall into the glass before I could stop the pour. Dark color almost like a light American normal stout, but it let's a purple-like color come through all over, not just the sides. Sweet malty and candy sugar tones waft into my nose. Still smell a bitter flavor inside of the sweetness. Mouthfeel gives a well carbonated, but smooth feel. Like drinking a highly carbonated pop/soda/coke without the bite. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, with spices and a lightly sweet cane sugar background. Very drinkable beer. Very enjoyable. Overall, if I lived in Belgium I would drink this more often it's so good.

Photo of Lupe
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date on cap: 07 09 03

Pours a deep tawny-ruby color that lightens when held up to the light. Creamy off-white head that settles to a thin sheet and leaves behind patchy lace.

Rich malt aroma of Belgian candy sugar, caramel and toffee, yeast, light spice, and granny-smith (sour) apple. Incredibly appealing.

Lush malt flavors of caramel, toffee, honey and fruit with notes of chocolate covered cherries. Hops add a nice bitterness to balance the malt, as well as a tea-like quality. Gets very juicy in the middle before the alcohol steps in to add a brandy flavor to the mix. Finishes dry with lingering spice.

Ridiculously smooth and creamy. Medium-full in body but not heavy. Maintains a crispness and has the perfect amount of carbonation.

If not for the rareness, I would have this beer on hand at all times. So easy to drink. Complex and so flavorful, but not overpowering or aggressive.

This is my second time having this beer. I bought 2 bottles around 3 years ago. I didn't review the first bottle, but I would say this one was much more memorable. Truly a world class beer.

Photo of Floydster
3.33/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Ebay for about twenty dollars, not even close to being worth the money in my opinion, I hope Westvleteren 12 is better because this one did not live up to all its hype

Best before date of August 2008, but could have probably gone for much longer if I left it in the cellar

Poured into my Trappist Westvleteren chalice with a deep brown color that had a dark red tint when held up to the light, the head was white and lumpy, and over an inch which was impressive, left chunky lacing, expected this one to be darker and have a fuller body

Smell was fig, roasted malt, some roasted nut and barley, apple, and , definitely seemed oxidized, so maybe I did not have a good bottle of this stuff, pretty weak aroma overall and just seemed generic of a dubbel

Taste was decent but nothing to get all excited about, definitely got better as it warmed, wish I would have drank this at room temperature originally, got much easier to drink as it got warmer as more sweetness came out, surprisingly hoppy and left a dry and bitter aftertaste at the beginning, some nice apple and dark fruit at the end of the glass, reminded me of a nut brown ale when its temperature was cool, could taste small amounts of licorice and sweet cherries, this one could have used some more sweet malt unfortunately, wish it had more complexity which I expected, pretty good taste when it is all said and done but certainly not the best trappist or dubbel out on the market

Not much carbonation and the body was nothing to brag about, average mouthfeel with a taste that did not linger around too long

At eight percent, it is pretty drinkable, but it does get heavy at times and the taste gets old after a while, not bad for a beer of this style though, could drink two or three bottles of this with no problems

This was the first beer I have drank and said to myself that it was way overhyped, I understand the beer's rarity, but there is harder to find beers out there, this is actually quite easy to get now in online auctions, I much rather drink a Rochefort or St. Bernardus, especially for the amount of money you have to fork out to get one of these, it is a good beer but does not deserve to be in the top five in my honest opinion, will try this again in the future to see if I just had a bad batch, and will update my review if anything changes, other than that I recommend it if you are extremely curious like I was, but you will most likely leave disappointed

Photo of Absumaster
3.05/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Overhyped and overrated.

A dark brown beer with a big, frothy and creamy head and lots of yeast flakes floeating around in the beer.

Smell is not very inviting, a slight oxidized smell with strong alcoholic solvent whiffs. The expected caramel is pushed back by the alcohol and is just barely tasted.

Taste is strong spiritus alcohol combined with oxidation. The yeast still leaves it's mark and gives some spicy notes, but the higher alcohols are very aromatic. The beer is leaning towards a sherry. The alcohol and slight caramellic, candisugar and woody taste give a liquor taste like sherry or whiskey. Body is sweet and sticky.

After my 3(!) disappointing tastings of this beer (fresh and from different lots) I really have to say that this beer is not one of the best in the world. OK, 1 or 2 bad beer can happen, but this taste and oxidation is just in the beer and I don't like it.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Labeled as: 22.08.10.

Into a Orval chalice, pours a dark brown color with a nicely proportioned, slightly tan head, fades to a nice swirling film, the swirl leaving wall of lace, which in turn leave spots and streaks down the glass. Just lovely.

The aroma and taste continues the fun, lots of stuff going on, all mysterious in it cohesion. Its one of those beers that are so perfectly balance, so well integrated are all the parts, thats its a mystery there isn't actually something magical about it. Given time, one could pick out dark fruits of raisin, plum, fig, the malts sweet with brown sugar, molasses, a doughy bready, some lovely spices. The mouth is over medium, a very fine carbonation and alcohol warming. It bitters a bit and dries toward the finish, leaving the end drawn out, lingering. Its all very much beautiful.

In sum, an excellent beer, a classic deserving of its status in the halls of beerdom. Then next question being, what will several years do to it?

Thanks to tpd975 for supplying me with this beaut.

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, murky brown - the typical dubbel color, but with exceptionally good head retention.

Smell: Dry and spicy; plum, fig, black licorice and herbal hops.

Taste: Bold, dry and slightly tart. The flavor notes at fig, licorice, apple and toasted nuts. Well-hopped in the finish, it ends bitter and dry. A subtle sweetness comes out as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth on the tongue. Medium-bodied with gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: The dryness really adds to the drinkability - if not for the rarity I could see myself drinking this often.

Notes: Different but nearly as good as Westvleteren 12. This is probably the best dubbel I've had, with St. Bernardus coming fairly close.

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,778 ratings.