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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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1,769 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,769
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 1,260
Gots: 289 | 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: 1,769 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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 -9.6%
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 +0.7%
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 +2.9%
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 -0.4%
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 +11.4%
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 +1.3%
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 -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 -1.6%
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 -28.1%
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 +8.5%
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 +10.7%
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 -25.8%
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 -32.1%
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 +4.7%
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 -2%
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.

Photo of bonbright7
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was fortunate to have a friend in Belgium pick this up for me as it demystified one the most storied beers I had read about in recent years. I shared it with a good friend as it poured majestically into a Trappist glass to a medium dark brown visage. The muscular aroma of apples, champagne, coffee came through in the first taste that was memorable. It reminded me of a darker version of Orval with the yeasty elements of Westmalle and the medium body of a Bier d’garde. The dry chocolaty aftertaste lingered for a long time as the 8 just capped a wonderful evening.

Photo of kmo1030
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep dark brown beer with a light tan head that starts off pretty thick, but settles to a thick sticky film.
the aroma is very delicate it takes some work, but, i detect toffee, molasses, dark fruits like plum, black cherry, raisin. i'm also getting some rum-y booze mingled with caramel, and substantially doughy bread. peach too occasionally, beleive it or not.
the taste contains a quite peppery tinged toffee/molasses/candy sugar flavor. dark fruits dominated (maybe 60/40) by an appealing slightly tart cherry flavor show up to accompany the warming alcohol. the alcohol isn't covered up well, but doesn't take away, it adds some nice complexity. vaguely nutty, with anise, cinnamon, and some other more undefinable (at least with my lexicon) spices. cinnamon raisin bready come to mind... this doesn't seem to stop getting tastier and more complex as it's approaching room temp, though it has to have a ceiling (right?!). bitterness from most likely aged hops balances and dries out the back. with significant warmth wood notes start to develop.
medium bodied with effervescent carbonation. fine and foamy in the mouth.
good drinability due to it's unique, but awesome taste. the peppery flavors, at times sharp carbonation, and alcohol take it down a couple notches, but not enough be any source for compaint or even critique.

Photo of brendan13
3.81/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying this for my 25th birthday. Yesterday was too hectic.

A - Cap is dated 01/09/10. Poured into a Westvleteren goblet a very murky, dark brown with ruby red highlights when held up to light. Few centimetres of beige head that hangs for a fair while. Big patchy lacing is left.
S - Raisin & prune dark fruit aromas, spicy phenols. Some savoury aroma that is hard to place. Never had it in a dubbel before. It's a bit off putting.
T - Along the same lines as the taste but without the savory smell.
M - Quite a smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied, low carbonation.
D - Would I drink it again? Yes. Would I pay the same amount to drink it again? No way.

Photo of DavidEddie
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

15.08.10 printed on cap. Thanks to Jasonjlewis for this one.

Poured a very dark murky, ruby, brown with a thick fluffy off white head that won’t go away. Smells of grape, apple, dark fruits, and some rum. Taste of sweet dark fruits, some tart red wine, mildly light brown sugar and bitter chocolate. Flavors are mended together. There is an alcohol warming in my chest as each sip goes down. Mouth feel is creamy, full, and tons of carbonation. Drinkability is very easy for me. I restrain myself from drinking this one too quick. I will probably never have an opportunity to enjoy this fine outstanding trappist dubbel again.

Highly recommended if you can obtain one. CHEERS!

Photo of seaoflament
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nov. 6, 2007

Another present to drink on my b-day, the second Westvleteren of the day. This one courtesy of the very generous metallitone1, thanks for hooking me up!

Date on the cap is 20.12.08 (or 09)

Pours a beautiful mahogany color with lots of bubbles. Active carbonation in the center of the glass with a thin ring around.

The aroma is quite fruity, dark fruits mostly. I can smell some figs, dates, ripe prunes, dark candy sugar (not a fruit, I know), cherries, and a bit of alcohol. A bit of cinnamon is picked up once the beer begins to warm up and breathe. Also there are some grapes in the mix.

The taste is in line with the aroma. Lots of dark fruits and a faint dose of alcohol, but tasty alcohol not fusel or overpowering. It’s really well crafted, I don’t see any one flavor overpowering in this beer. Hmm, some caramel flavors start to show up as I’m finishing my beer.

The mouthfeel is fantastic; the carbonation makes it feel almost creamy and velvety. The finish is very clean and doesn’t leave a trace of off flavors, just a little sweetness which is quite tasty. Great beer to just let it sit on your tongue and feel the carbonation and a foaming sensation—I dig it!

2 Westvleterens down, one more to go!

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

Pours a dark prune with a big frothy head that builds up then dies down to a ring with nice lacing. Smells of caramel, dark fruits, dried fig, some spice, and pear. Taste is delicious with spice and caramel up front but brown sugar, pear, fruits and a doughy quality. So smooth with a nice tickle of carbonation on the toungue. Unbelievably drinkable and a delicious brew.

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy brown with a thin tan head.

The smell is powerful - I could smell it at some distance away. Fruity (peaches?) and brandy-like. Caramel/toffee comes through strongly.

The taste is complex - mix of fruits - from peaches to dark fruits. Caramel/toffee, leaning towards chocolatey maltiness. Some spicy/woody/nutty notes blend in well. Brandy-ish. Finishes with a spicy, woody dryness. Nicely textured.

Easy to drink, esp. for abv level. Quite a bit to savor and contemplate with each sip. A great brew (though I'm not sure that it hits third highest, IMO).

Thanks to nacir69 for ascertaining this classic, hard-to-find brew for me!

Photo of Monsone
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby with a huge frothy off white head.

Smells like dark fruit (raisins come to mind) and sweet caramel/toffee malt.

Tastes like it smells. Sweet toffee malt and dark fruit. Alcohol is present on the aftertaste. Some Belgian funk.

Medium bodied and quite carbonated, almost champagne like.

Pretty drinkable for the amount of alcohol.

Overall, I was kind of disapointed in this. Is there hype behind this beer? Hell Yes! I have had better dubbels, St. Bernys comes to mind. That said it is very true to the style and a very good beer and well worth a try if you can get your hands on one.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sorry but this comment is in french :

Appeareance : Trappiste acajou, limpide (sur lie), mousse crémeuse de durée moyenne, correctement saturée.
Smell : Nez piquant d'alcool très profond et doux,
Taste and mouthfeel : arômes complexes de levure . Saveur puissante, ronde, épicée. Bouche ample marquée. Arrière goût fondu et durable, velouté des levures, équilibre doux et fort.
Drinkability : une très grande bière Trappiste

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,769 ratings.