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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,633 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,633
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.69%
Wants: 1,197
Gots: 244 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,633 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a deep dark warm brown with a thick creamy tan head that last and last. It has a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that can only be seen on the edge of the glass.

S-Lots of aromas blended together with a slight sweetness. The smell of caramel, faint chocolate, raisins and even a nice tobacco aroma. As it warms some smells of rose and cloves start to pop through.

T- A nice toasted malt flavor is the base with lots of complexity but not as complex as the smell. Some raisin and clove notes in the malt but it finishes kind of dry with a slight alcohol warmth.

M- medium mouthfeel with no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This is a nice complex beer in the smell but it just doesn't have the same complexity in the taste. Very nice beer.

09-08-2005 01:57:15 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

Presentation: Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Watou chalice.

Appearance: Reddish brown, big pillowy head on top. The head retained really well.

Smell: The smell is the main draw for me. Completely intoxicating, with yeasty fresh-baked bread dominating, and fruity esters adding some character.

Taste: Very nice, but kind of more alcoholic flavor than the St. Bernardus Prior 8. They're both good.

Notes: This was the first time I tried Westvleteren 8. I set up a side-by-side comparison with St. Bernardus Prior 8 (served in another Watou chalice from an 11.2 oz bottle). The Prior 8 has been one of my favorites since I first tried it last December. Now I can happily say that I think it is marginally better than Westvleteren in my opinion. They are both exceptional, but the alcohol was just more present in the Westvleteren flavor than I would prefer. The St Bernardus seemed a little richer in malt flavor also.

09-06-2005 02:12:14 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of scooter231

New York

3.93/5  rDev -12.5%

I wonder if I should have saved these guys for a while, if perhaps they were too young yet, because I can sense the possibility of them, the character there, but... young. Hmm.

Pours a dark brown, slightly crimson color, with a tan, creamy looking head and some lacing. Smells mostly of raisins, a sweet, and lightly floral backgrounds. As it warms, I get more powerful raisiny smells. Taste is also quite raisiny, with hints of chocolate, coffee, and toffee- a stouty type thing going on. Very dry. Can't sense the alcohol at all, very sneaky. Mouthfeel is smooth and chewy and frothy- very nice. Drinkable, sure, to some extent- but I find there's something in there that would prevent me from being able to have a few of these. A solid beer to be sure, but I hope I can get another one and hold on to it for a few years...

08-26-2005 05:01:24 | More by scooter231
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

Good lacing, good head, good color though not quite as vibrant as I anticipated.
The smell gets quite lively as it warms. Sweet, dark fruits... raisins mostly. I pick out some others but not clearly. A sweet smell and a pleasant one at that.
The taste is much more dry than the smell indicates, though there is a sweetness... like sweetend coffee.... perhaps coffee with a splash of raisin syrup. There's also a stouty/coffee like thing in the mouthfeel. Can't really detect the alcohol in the flavor, though I imagine it serves to liven up flavors.Very complex. This isn't my favorite dubbel out there but it's nothing to sneeze at.

08-26-2005 04:35:04 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of Paddez


4.05/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance: Pours a turbid dark brown brew with a big tan head. Very nice.

Smell: The smell is probably the best part about this beer. Dark fruits, roasted malts and honey are the main attractions with some faint hints of alcohol near the end. There's something else going on there, but I can't really put my finger on it. Qiute complex and very good.

Taste: Roasty, caramelly, ... notes of honey bring a lightly sweet touch to the brew. Figs and other dark fruits carry the taste towards a slightly spicy and dry finish. Good but definitely not ground-breaking.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Excellent mouthfeel: smooth, creamy with a gentle and pleasant carbonation. The more it warms, the more the alcohol gets a pleasant, warming effect. Drinkability is good, as long as it's not too cold.

Conclusion: Very 'dubbel'-like in character. It's a good and solid beer, but world class? Meh.

08-14-2005 21:35:48 | More by Paddez
Photo of Sixpoint

New York

4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Grape APE! Grape APE! Remember that shit? This beer is the Grape Ape. Period.

I don't know how they do it. There's no grapes in it, it is not a wine. Yet in the aroma and the aftertaste, the sample I recently had contained the most subtle but distinguishable GRAPE aroma and flavor. It was awesome. Grape soda anyone?

My sample was a deep burgunday color, almost brown. Left an awesome whisp of head all the way down a goblet style glass.

The aroma was of figs, caramel, clove, and of course, GRAPES.

The body was medium to full; almost silky. Very nice.

A very drinkable brew. You'd guess it was only 5% ABV. These people obviously know what they're doing. Respect.

08-04-2005 22:07:56 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +2%

Opaque. Cloudy. Brownish. Two fingers worth of head. Thick lacing later on.

Nose has typical Belgian esters.

Taste is not near the 12, but still very good. Dark candi sugar noticeable. Typical Belgian esters stronger than in nose. Become stronger as it warms.

Mouthfeel is perfect at first. Not as good as it warms, but still excellent.

Goes down real easy, esp. for 8%.

Final thoughts: an excellent brew but don't fall prey to "you can't find it, it is sooo good." There are other dubbels out there that will keep you happy.

08-04-2005 21:40:20 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of bristerboy

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +8%

What a surprise. I found two bottles with 05-05-2005 on cap ., at a drive in beer store that specializes in imported beer. $9.95 per bottle, but I figured , what the heck; all the raves that I have read on this forum, I might not find it again.

Since it had been in a cooler of unknown temp, I allowed it conme warm up slightly before pouring. It poured a beautiful DARK brown with tan generous head that stayed forever.

Smoooth!!! Alsolutely wonderful. Never have I tasted a beer so good. If the 12 is better, I might not be able to handle it.

Caramel, raisins which very little if any hop taste. Alcohol not apparent but after this small 11 oz drink, I felt it.

A shame that it cost so much, as I would have loved to drink the 2nd bottle, but I'll save it for a little cellaring and drinking later.

08-03-2005 20:59:25 | More by bristerboy
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

Bottled, served in Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Pours with a dark brown body, burgandy hues, thick frothy tan head with good retention. Some yeasties floating around

Smell, strong and estery, full of dark dried fruits, plums too. Slight whiff of alcohol although its very refined, like a single malt whiskey only less.

Taste, smooth and dark malty caramel, honey and maple syrup. Raisins, toffee and some alcohol on the finish

:) Fantastic...i prefer this over the 12 actually

07-29-2005 19:37:22 | More by cypressbob
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

The Westvleteren 8 pours from the bottle a beautiful stream of crystal-clear orange-amber. In the glass it appears darker as the volume of liquid increases, and it's mounting head of creamy, yellowed-paper foam rises. The head retention is excellent and it leaves a fortress of creamy lace about the glass. Carefully poured it remains clear, and it's a beautiful glass of beer with a dark-crimson-accented copper/chestnut body that reveals plumes of streaming bubbles within, and gleaming crimson, orange, and gold highlights towards the base of the goblet.

The nose is sweet and caramelish, with undercurrents of dark-skinned fruits (some dried, some fresh) and delicate spice; as well as the occassional waft of light alcohol.

In the mouth, it's light bodied with a lively zest due to it's effervescent, natural carbonation. As it warms, however, it becomes cottony soft and smooth across the palate; accentuating its maltiness and rounding it greatly.

Spice and caramel appear first on the palate, and leave last... but in between there's a wide variety of sugary sweet, spicy, and fruity flavors that appear. Sweet sugar-cookie dough that's been drizzled with caramel comes to mind first. Additionally, dark fruit skins quickly appear upfront and become more fruity and juicy (and even slightly vinous towards the end...) as it progresses across the palate, joined by a rising spiciness and balancing bitterness. A splash of alcohol is right on the tail (but not until you've had half a glass), and it finishes dry but with lingering doughy-caramel malt and sublime, peppery spice that fades to a muddy-spicy-dark fruit linger.


07-28-2005 22:26:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of connecticutpoet


4.88/5  rDev +8.7%

Obtained through a trade with GClarkage... thanks, Chris!

This was a dark brown, slightly hazy ale with a one and a half finger, creamy head that left tons of lace on my St. Bernardus chalice.

The aroma was fruity, with some spiciness, a little sweetness, and a touch of alcohol hovering over a dark malt background. Plums and perhaps apples?

The taste was initially of dark, slightly roasted malt. Raisins and plums then flowed over the taste buds. It was slightly vinous and a little dry. VERY good. Alcohol came through at the swallow.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, but chewy and with the body needed to support the full flavors. The alcohol was present, but restrained.

Drinkability... well, DAMN hard to find, and a little too rich for session drinking... but would I have another if the opportunity arose? HELL YES!

06-17-2005 02:16:29 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of sulldaddy


4.43/5  rDev -1.3%

I am sampling a chilled bottle of this brew that I have had for at least 1.5 years. I am using a tulip/snifter for the sampling.
The beer pours a clear mahogany color with a large fluffy eggshell white head that foams up 3 cm easy. Leaves large latticework as it slowly recedes.
Aroma is fruity and spicy with apple and cloves and some yeasty biscuit scents. I also detect a bit of a hard candy sugary scent and banana.
First sip reveals a very fine yet super prickly carbonation that tingles my tongue and cheeks with each mouthful. Body is average and very smooth.
Flavor is toffee and caramel up front with some red grape and berry fruit as well. I also get a bit of non sweet bakers chocolate on the finish.
As the beer warms the prickliness of the carbonation dies down a bit and some more complexity of flavor comes forth. a bit of biscuit/scone flavor develops and I also get a bit more spiciness.
Overall the beer is fairly sweet from start to finish and is very drinkable. I dont get any alcohol presence on nose, mouth or belly.
A well crafted brew for sure!
I would buy again if I saw it for sure!

06-12-2005 23:33:42 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of gimmehead


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Raisin brown with a thin, dingy beige head that coats the beer to the end. Aroma is of fruity esters, vinous, sugary sweetness and tart green apples. Nice rich caramel sweetness that grows as the beer warms. The nose is infinitely complex with various intertwining aromas. Grainy and grassy malt flavor with a bit of sugary sweetness, but not as much as in the nose. Some spicy, peppery hops mixed with some tarness and a very soft, lingering vinous quality that is especially evident in the finish. Mouthfeel is soft and pleasant with some mild carbonation tickle. Overall, vinous and dry. A little sweetness could go a long way.

06-05-2005 02:20:21 | More by gimmehead
Photo of beergeek279


4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

Served in the 11.2 oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. The color is the dark amber, nearly brown with a fantastic head retention 10 minutes after pouring and leaving a nice lacing on the glass. The smell is a tart plumishness with just a touch of alcohol in there. The taste has quite a bit of plum in it, with a slight tartness to it, along with a good bit of spicing and a touch of candi sugar sweetness to it, with just the smallest bit of warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is very nice and chewy. As for drinkability, this is surprisingly good and I could have quite a few of these, until the wallet ran dry.

As I did Westvleteren 12 as a landmark beer, so am I doing Westy 8 as review #700. I bought this almost a year ago, so it's had a good year to age a bit, and I like the results. As a nice dubbel, this is a fine one, with a good plum-like sweetness in the body that's just barely touched by hops, and a candi sugar sweetness and a tartness that completes the complexity of the beer. Quite nice, a fine beer, and now that the flow of these bottles are slowing down a bit, I'm glad to have had the chance to have this before Westvleteren is cut off to the US.

05-30-2005 18:11:55 | More by beergeek279
Photo of mentor


4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

A bottle purchased from John's Grocery (Iowa City) in Fall 2004 and consumed in May 2005. Pours a two-finger light brown head over a horribly cloudy and particulated mud-brown liquid (I poured in the sediment...was I supposed to do that?). Smells chocolate candy sugar, alcohol, sort of plumy, and a perfumy scent that carried over on the alcohol like spring flowers. Soft fruits like pears or ripe fresh strawberries. Yeasty, but also with a hint of tang. Interesting.

Taste starts with alcohol (damn, and I cellared this in hopes of clearing that up a bit) that settles to caramel and toffee. Some phenolic funk (appropriate for the style, but, yuck, I don't like funk). Fortunately, the funk is covered pretty well by candi-sugar. Licorice and black anise beneath and a still present gentle alcohol burn. What a great aftertaste. Yummy chocolate that settles to a delicate alcohol prickle on the back of my and and far back on the roof of my mouth. More tastes reveal, not quite a molasses, but more of a brown sugar. Alcohol mixed with this has a sort of brandy character. Md-thick body and a bit over-carbonated.

05-30-2005 06:35:10 | More by mentor
Photo of pentathlete


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Purply brown cloudy opaque Dubbel with a monster head and lots o lacing. Smell, especially as the beer warms, is a heady complex mixture of fruit (pear, raisin, and some banana) and Belgian yeast and malts. It was a shame to consume it and lose that aroma. Taste is mellow fruity candi mix of bubbly goodness. Mouthfeel is medium full and very satisfying. If this beer were reasonably available and reasonably priced, it would be a permanent fixture in the household.

05-22-2005 02:56:18 | More by pentathlete
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

This beer was a rare find. I found it in the cold case at Spirits Unlimited in Red Bank. I could not resist its call. I bought, and at $5.99 I expected great things. It did not disappoint. This is a wonderful an complex brew. Describing it is going to be a challenge but fun.

Poured a deep copper brown with a short lived wite head that faded to a persistent ring around the the inside of the glass and a few scattered clouds. I saved the yeast to add later.

Aroma was rich dark fruits (fig, plums rasins, dates) some yeast and powerful alcohol.

Taste was multi-layered and varied by sip. Some Cocoa, coffee, sour and sweet malts. Some toasted notes, charcoal, dark bread and alcohol. A short dryish finish rounds it all out.

Very drinkable. Worth the cost ? Yeah, sure.

05-17-2005 02:50:11 | More by Citadel82
Photo of MrNuggets


4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Kind of funny that this beer has traveled more than the majority of my friends and family. She started off in Belgium, acquired directly from the source. A nice bed of foam and bubble wrap was made for her and her big sister in my backpack. I was determined to get them home safely, but with an entire month of wayfaring ahead of me I was uncertain if they would make it.

She road comfortably north into the Netherlands, where we lounged in world famous cafes and picnicked in Vondelpark. South to Paris for a night on the town before jumping on a train bound for the Cote d’Azur. The beaches of Nice were a wonderful change of place for that dreary old monastery. A rickety old plane took her to visit some friends in Germany. Boring, flavorless friends in comparison to her. She was soon ready to go home. She grabbed at the chance to return to the French Riviera for one last glimpse at the those beautiful beaches and a final day in the sun.
Her return to Belgium was a sad one, she knew she would never return again.

The US customs agent was amazed by my tales of beer made by monks, "Holy smokes", he said "it's blessed beer!"
How right he was, for the top to this fine brew was just popped using a papal bottle opener blessed by non other than JPII himself.

My efforts paid off, my favorite chalice now holds a dark brown liquid topped with a creamy tan head. Held high to the midnight sun shining through my windows she shows deep ruby. A lasting head releases odors of all things dark and delicious. The smells are remembered as subtle once I begin sipping. Dense flavors dig deep into all corners of my mouth. Leaving unmatched richness lingering above, beneath, along and probably inside every last one of my taste buds. Although hefty, my chalice drains quickly.

How wonderful that such a little piece of Belgian culture can find its way all the back to Alaska and be enjoyed with almost as much splendor as when it was had at De Vrede.

05-08-2005 05:22:58 | More by MrNuggets
Photo of stcules


4.43/5  rDev -1.3%

Comparative tasting with Rochefort 8.

Dark, almost black in color. The foam it is not very thick, but it is beautiful, compact, beige in color, and quite persistent.
Smell: breadcrust, yeast. Very smooth. Less Alcoholic than the Roch8. Fruity (green apple). Cocoa and vanilla. More round, and probably a little better than the Roch8.
In the taste it it more "soft" again, more smooth. Again fruity notes (green apple again), with a very light astringency. Yeast, evident, with breadcrust. Vanilla. Then some liquorice, with chocolate nuances, slightly dusty, too. Carob.
At the taste the two are quite similar, but in the W8 the sotness is more evident. The Roch8 is more dry, more resolute.
Medium -high body, maybe just a bit lower than the Roch8.
Yeast again in the aftertaste, than liquorice and cocoa. Less resolute, and even less complex and long than the Roch8.

But in any case, two great beers.

04-28-2005 21:31:34 | More by stcules
Photo of Krovtar

New York

4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

All I can sway is thanks to Nordikwolf for my first bottle of heaven and a shout out to Malto for turning me on to the finer beers in life.
Over the last serveral months my tastes have changed, my nose has yet to pick up all that passes it and my palate follows suit, but overall this beer is sheer nirvana. There are some just as good, the Rochfort 8 which I am openning now may be one of them, the unibrue 11 which I finished earlier is close with its hit of plum but this beer is a punch in the mouth and all I can say is how on earth do they do it. Enough has been written about each of our experiences our tastes. Overall I get Plum with a hint of alcohol like plum wine yet subtle, nice bubbles with a short creamy head, a very very subtle brandy aroma and somthing sweet that stays on my palate like syrup, delicious beer may I have another please?

04-18-2005 04:49:33 | More by Krovtar
Photo of steinlifter


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

This poured a dark cloudy brown,creamy tan head that retained nicely, fruity aroma, perhaps raisins, also smelled a whiff of iced tea,complex and pleasant
taste was superb, a bit of alcohol bite, mellowing to a fruity complex flavor, lots of fruity flavors in there, can't quite put my finger on all of them, also some burnt malts.
mouthfeel was rich full and creamy
drinkability is fantastic, one of the best beers I've ever had.I obtained this thru a trade, along with the 12, this is the 1st one I've tried, and well worth it, excellent!

04-11-2005 22:45:37 | More by steinlifter
Photo of lou91


4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

This is a beautiful looking beer – alive, with a rich dark red color and a wonderful nose that makes your mouth water. On the pour it left a dark dollop in the center of sediment. Oh what a great first taste – so silky like it was on nitrogen. The alcohol is clear and present and leaves a lasting burn as the sweet honey bitter chocolate and dry hop flavors linger on your palate. This beer is a world class and fully satisfying in one glass. Block out an hour of your life and enjoy. Get it at Jackson's in Lafayette.

03-31-2005 05:46:09 | More by lou91
Photo of mschofield


4/5  rDev -10.9%

Pours a dark ruby red, topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves broken webs of lacing in my Westvleteren chalice.
Fruity aroma, plenty of malt with an alcohol tingle.
Cherry, plum, candy and flowers in the taste, a little powdery, a small note of nuts.
Medium bodied and quite dry, very drinkable.

03-23-2005 23:50:29 | More by mschofield
Photo of santoslhalper


4.88/5  rDev +8.7%

Appearence: Pours a seductive dark browin with a thin, fizzy beige head.

Smell: The nose is full of complexity, with hints of wood, fruit, and so much more. Candy sugar is also a huge component of the sniff.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Holy god. What a phenomenal tastying beer. So much complexity, yet it's all very balanced and very tasteful. The fruit notes are huge, with cherries, grapes and many other great characteristics. There is a sugary sweet quality to it that rounds off the incredible fruitness very well. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and very smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Well wouldn't you know it. This is damn near as good as the 12, if not better. It's smoother and more balanced, while not quite as complex. This beer is truly one of the world's best. Westvletern is the best of the Trappist breweries I've tried. The balance and complexity they achieve is unmatched by any other beer on the market. This is a remarkably smooth, tasty, complex, and delicate beer, that is perfect for any occassion. One of the world's best.

03-05-2005 02:16:51 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of Beertracker


4.72/5  rDev +5.1%

Westvleteren Abt 8 pours up frothy & lacy into a Trappist-style chalice. The Irish Cream-colored head has such tightly-beaded bubbles that swirl-up nicely into a thick meringue-like top which sets-off the chestnut brown body perfectly. The aroma is truly magnificant with an explosion of dark fruits e.g. dates, figs, raisins & prunes and a gentle spice e.g. hot cinnamon roll, crystalized ginger & vanilla pudding that carries the sweet maltiness along with maybe just a kiss of Poperinge hops in the background. The flavor starts off bready & sweet with a delicous marriage of fruit & malt. The bitterness eventually dries out the brown sugary maltiness towards the finish. This is simply a World Class Belgian ale that packs just enough alcohol punch to remind you that it's worthy of your affection. Pair generously with a nice ripe Bruges cheese, crackers and fresh melon.

CHEERS! Beertracker

02-18-2005 06:53:43 | More by Beertracker
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,633 ratings.