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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,472 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1472
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 8.2%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001)
View: Beers (3) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,472 | Reviews: 754 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anticipation grows as I work up the Westvleteren latter at Cafe In de Vrede. Already served from the bottle into glass as it arrived at my table. On to the beer;

The 8 is ruby brown colored with an inch of rocky head. The head retention is acceptable and it leaves some creamy lace around. The aroma is not only complex, but downright appetizing! Hello? Figs. How are you? Raisins. Quite well. Prunes. Thank you very much. Chocolate and pudding and yeast.

Don't stop there. Get that palate ready for a party. The figs make their mark right away. Raisins don't trail far behind. A kiss of grass breaks the trend of sweet notes, but make no mistake, this is not sweet as in sugar sweet. A kiss of pepper adds a kick. Chocolate pudding adds a heavenly final blow to this outstanding dubbel. The beer is full bodied with a "peppery" carbonation, and it remarkably drinkable for a dubbel.

I've had dubbels which I've enjoyed a lot. Westvleteren just topped that list with its own. With its combination of great taste and drinkability, this was my favorite of the Westvleteren family.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 23:35:47 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
Chriscrundwell12

Minnesota

4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Westvleteren Chalice
Date on cap: 10.09.13

A- Really nice looking beer. One finger egg shell white head, dissipates to a nice frothy layer on top. Really nice lacing that coats the side of the glass. Dark dark brownish red color. Floaties galore, probably the most amount of sediment i have ever seen in a beer.
S- Wow incredibly sweet/fruity aroma. Dark fruits. The raisin and plum come out very strong. Brown sugar, sweet malts.
T- Different then the aroma. Not as fruit forward as the aroma, brown sugar, molasses in the taste. More plum then raisin, figs come out. More balanced then i was expecting. The aroma was so fruit forward and sweet, the taste differs drastically, very impressive!
M- Medium mouthfeel, dry finish. Leaves a creamy feeling in your mouth.
O- Im really impressed. Its been a while since i had Westy 8. This was my last bottle from my trip to Belgium 3 years ago. I shed a few tears as i finished it, but really enjoyed it!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 04:20:19 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

At the Cafe de Verve, time to move on from the blond and move up one step to the dubbel. This beer is dark brown, cloudy appearance with medium sized and amount of CO2 bubbles. Roasted malt flavor with an alcohol end note. Notes of chocolate and coffee present, missing the dark ripe estery fruits normally found in dubbels. The mouthfeel is quite nice, creamy and heavy with a nice smoothness and drinkable. This beer ends with a dark roasted malt quality with a hint of spiciness-more hoppy than yeasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 03:34:10 | More by deebo
Photo of tilbo
tilbo

Netherlands

3.95/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown copper colour with a big creamy off white head with great retention. Strong aroma of dried fruit mostly plum also a bit of caramel and tobacco notes. flavour is very smooth low carbonation light dried fruit with a nice sweetness and well balanced bitterness. also the alcohol is barely noticeable. excellent beer

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 10:34:26 | More by tilbo
Photo of Bleedcold
Bleedcold

Florida

4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Consumed from a Trappistes Rochefort glass.

Appearance: This beer has a great look its cloudy, dark and creamy in appearance with a good level of carbonation and foam.

Smell: It smells of dark fruits (Figs and Cherry are prevalent) Possibly some brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: Sugars, and darker fruits for sure very smooth and rich. Can not really taste much of the alcohol. mostly tastes of fruite very clean.

Mouthfeel: Slight amount of spice, mild carbonation and creamy.

I absolutely love this beerdeffinatly in my top 5 of actually tried beers, Superbe .

I have a Westy 12 in my refrigerator and I have never had that one. absolutely ecstatic to try. Will be reviewing that beer shortly thanks for the read.

04-10-2013 21:25:45 | More by Bleedcold
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle cap says 03.06.12. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown--nearing black--with a finger and a half of white head. Still manages good clarity around the edges. Medium sized bubbles which recede to a nice thick ring. Very good retention and a few dots of lacing.

S: Dark molasses, brandy-soaked dark fruit (blackcurrant, loads of fig), cherry juice, brown sugar, caramel and Christmas spice.

T: Caramelized sugar, dried fruit, cherry juice, spices (cinnamon and allspice), and a perfect level of dryness. A little booze comes through but it's mild.

M: Carbonation is on the high end, cola-like in its sharpness. Medium-full body.

O: Superb complexity that develops in the glass, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 05:21:43 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of chrisgalvin
chrisgalvin

California

4.94/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

See my review of the 12.

I dropped some cash and purchased some of this from a reputably shop online and was really happy with my purchase. Some could say that it was a bucket list next to actually visting the brewery to buy my own case. Nice appearance with a bit of suspended yeast, malty malty taste and minimal hops. Truly a great beer from the "Westy Lads..."

I prefer the 8 to the 12 purely on my own palate. Both are truly fantastic beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 04:23:33 | More by chrisgalvin
Photo of IPA35
IPA35

Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second review 22-03-2013

From the same batch, so it is over half a year old now.

A lovely dark brown beer with an offwhite head. Quality foam. Looks just great.

An extremely complex scent. Sweet but also with a certain earthiness to it and some tartness as well. Darker malts, chocolate, toffee, even some oaky vanilla stuff going on. Dark fruits, slightly boozy dark fruits. Raisins, dried figs, big dried prunes maybe cherry and some red apple (tartness). Just great smelling.

A very malt forward beer that is not overly sweet actually. A pretty big dark maltiness. The fruitiness is nice and balances out the firm maltiness. Take a sip and let it sit in the mouth for a few seconds to enjoy the complex flavours.

The body is medium and nice and smooth. Well carbonated.

Overall a great dubbel. Better than the Westmalle? I don't think so. Equal? Probably.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 22:26:16 | More by IPA35
Photo of Jonada
Jonada

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle best by 11th November 2014. Served in a Chimay goblet

Appearance: Muddy brown color. Nearly opaque with quite a bit of sediment in the glass. Poured about 1 finger of a creamy light tan head.

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel, red grape, sweet milk chocolate. There's a hint of tartness as well.

Taste: Sweetness upfront balanced out by slight bitterness in the finish. Flavors of raisins, grape, plum, bready malt, slight spice from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel despite the medium/high carbonation. Gentle alcohol warmth in the throat and chest as it goes down

Overall: Really good beer, but doesn't live up to the hype in my opinion. Considering the great effort or cost that goes into obtaining this, I'll be sticking to more readily available options in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 15:53:44 | More by Jonada
Photo of sfprint
sfprint

Germany

4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Exp: 8/18/2013
A: very very dark and opaque. small flakes of yeast suspended. Quickly dissipating head, too, dense to see any rising carbonation but there's a little something rising through the center. After sipping, it does form a pretty beautiful creaminess on the surface. Very even lacing.
S: interesting, coffee candy, cherry alcohol syrup, creamy, fiber powder, other complexities I can't describe. Pretty damn impressive.
T: Pretty crazy. I haven't had a beer like this one before. Chocolately. Really nice malt. It tastes like a dark malt and it's perhaps the first beer that I've had where the malt is such a defined flavor. Like malt coffee. And it's beautiful. With a perfect "grain" flavor on top. And while that's 65% of the flavor, sitting right under it, which is more like an unsweet cherry cola. No detection of alcohol.
M: Perfect mouthfeel. Thick and creamy with a very delicate carbonation sting. Unlike any other mouthfeel in a beer I've had,
O: An incredibly special beer. Incredibly. I wasn't blown away with the Blonde. Actually disappointed, which made me skeptical about how this one would be. But this one lives up to it's fetishized name. With that said, I'm not jumping up and down saying, this is the most delicious beer I've ever had. Dubbels are not my style. But this one is the holy grail of Dubbels. Magical. It was worth the 10 euros I paid for it (please dont bash me!).

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 02:10:36 | More by sfprint
Photo of Hoppsbabo
Hoppsbabo

United Kingdom (England)

3.74/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

My bottle is dated February 2014, one year from now, so I guess it's a couple of years old.

A: A dulled bottle brown body with a creamy light beige head which clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Mildewy dried prunes/figs/dates and Cointreau. Nothing else.

T: Not registering any big flavour up front but it's quite crisp. Initially dry but sweetens up slightly. A tad bitter but pleasantly so and gets better with warmth but really there's not a lot to it. No interesting fruity esters, bubblegum or marzipan. Just a very fine balance of modest, conventional Belgian dark ale flavours, just like in the Westy 12. I can pick out a bit of sherry, a bit of mildew or something like an old wine cork flavour. Alcohol is very well hidden. Virtually no aftertaste. Verging on blandness if not for the crispness.

M: The balance and mouthfeel are the centrepiece. Beautifully creamy and silky and yet crisp at the same time. Also a bit sticky.

O: I thought I'd missed the point with the Westy 12 but now I've been similarly underwhelmed by the 8. If my bottle was a typical example of a two year old bottle then it tastes very ordinary with a bit of age. I'd love to try a fresh one because all these people can't be wrong.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 01:59:12 | More by Hoppsbabo
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Cap is dated 02.12.07.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, grape juice, and lots of dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some really tasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 04:09:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Westvleteren 8 (2011 vintage)

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a goblet. Served at cellar temperature.

A) It was burnt amber in color. A little bit hazy with a bit of sediment noted as well. There was nearly a finger of off-white head which quickly dissipated to a collar.

S) A pleasant sweetness which I found to include some raisin and pear slices as well as a little bit of nuttiness probably best described as hazelnut. There were some nice spices too. This is a rich, filling aroma. This could possibly be how Ron Burgundy's apartment smells.

T) The flavor is near the nose, but what I found was a little more grape from a fruit standpoint and a hint of coffee as well. The yeast is also noted in the flavor. Sweet for sure, but also bitter enough for balance. Very, very little alcohol, actually the 8% a ABV was quite well hidden

M) A medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Actually more carbonation than I really anticipated, not that this was a bad thing. Really a very smooth beer. The finish is very dry, and the aftertaste is quite pleasant and clean.

O) A very nice treat on my birthday, so thanks for the bottle Dad. Met my expectations and definitely worth acquiring. Look forward to trying the Westy 12 some day.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 05:02:19 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of LinusBohman
LinusBohman

Sweden

4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled just below room temperature. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Amber or perhaps chest nut coloured liquid crowned by a white - beige head. Got som bubbles playing around.

S: Apricot, butter scotch, almond, chocolate and alcohol. It has some kind of smell that reminds me of the limestone church where I grew up.

T: Sweetness at first. Almonds, raw sugar, chocolate and syrup. The finish is bitter. It also have some fruity tastes to it, towards apricot.

M: Creamy yeat bubbely. A bit dry in the finish.

O: Very balanced and surprisingly easy to drink. An excellent beer but it lacks the big WOW that would make it a true titan among giants.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 16:30:29 | More by LinusBohman
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of totoropanda. Thanks Daniel. Pours a dark amber with small tan head that has decent retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is fruity with raisin and plum, some caramel, and some light oxidation. The taste is mildly sweet with raisin plum, and a bit of caramel. The finish is slightly dry with a light bitterness. Medium body. Medium-low carbonation. Good. Like a slightly toned down version of Westy 12.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:52:19 | More by jethrodium
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman

Montana

4.54/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer poured a deep purple with a two-finger head that dissipated into a thin white foam.

S: Exquisite grape and dark fruit, some fruity phenolic character and a tiny touch of spice.

T/M: Incredible dark fruit and grape flavor with very low alcohol presence. The beer starts with a light bitterness and carbonation bite, followed by the dark fruit/malt flavor, and morphs into more complex drying fruit notes from the yeast. Very low phenolic astringency, the yeast blends into the flavor profile perfectly.

Overall: Extraordinary, one of the best belgian beer I have laid my hands on. I thought that all of the westy beers were just hype machines, but this is just magnificent, I cannot imagine that Westy 12 is any better.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 04:58:23 | More by Siriusfisherman
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brian (msubulldog) for throwing this in as an extra!

2006 vintage, consumed Dec., 2012, shared at Funky Buddha, Boca Raton, FL.

Dark mahogany color, with a small tan head that retained as a thin layer, and left a little lacing on the glass. Absolutely loved the aroma on this. Rich scents of sweet raisins, figs, caramel malts, brown sugar, Belgian yeast. Super smooth. I almost want to give it a 5.0. The taste reflects the nose, dried dark fruits, mingled with smooth malt sweetness, dark sugars, a touch of cocoa, and a mellow but ubiquitous booziness throughout the session. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, moderate carbonation. Complex and well-crafted.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 22:19:16 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Radome
Radome

Texas

4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 33 cl bottle bought in Brussels.

A - A dark brown color with some red or even burgundy highlights when held to light. Slightly cloudy. Sediment in bottle got stirred during the pour and seems to contribute to the cloudiness. Head is tan and piled 4-5 cm high initially. Faded to a thin layer and big beefy ring around the glass. Serious lacing.

S - Beautiful aroma. Bready malt, molasses, raisins, and brandy-like alcohol jump out and dominate. There is a bit of spice in the background that adds complexity. There is a minty/medicinal note (could be from hops) that lightens the aroma and keeps it from giving a cloying impression.

T - The taste is well balanced and complex, but not as complex as the aroma. The warm, bready malt balances against the minty/medicinal hops flavor. Additional flavors like licorice, alcohol and dried fruits run around the edges, but the finish is dry and does not linger.

M - Medium body. Prickly carbonation lightens the mouthfeel. Alcohol burn is well-hidden. Hop bitterness is present but not overt. Some sweetness coats the mouth and offsets the generally dry finish.

O - Overall, this is an outstanding beer. No flaws. Every aspect is appealing. If I had a wish, it would be for a bit more body and complexity, but now I'm splitting hairs.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 23:47:44 | More by Radome
Photo of Theshooster
Theshooster

Korea (South)

4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have visited the In De Vrede Cafe located right next door to the Westvleteren Monatry 4 times now and each time is a special treat. My good friend lives in Poperinge, a tiny town just south of the cafe and each time I visit we grab the bicycles and go for a beer. Absolutely delicious and the seclusion of the place is equally wonderful. Nestled in the middle of hops paradise. I typically order the 8 to get my taste buds fired and ready for the 12.

A - Brown and caramel, not as dark as the 12

S - Sweet, fruity aroma

T - Spiced, caramel, lovely taste

M - Full but not quite as complete as the 12

O - A wonderful beer in a wonderful location

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 04:15:19 | More by Theshooster
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remove the blue capped one from the back of the fridge and let it warm for 15 minutes or so prior to opening. Maybe a year old I know it knows its competition better than I. The Prior and the Pater, from just across the way at St. Bernardus. The history may be storied but I wasn't there for it, so I seek the state of the present, and as for Dubbels that is where my allegiance lies.

I pour the #8 into a large wine glass from its 330 ml. Trappistenbier bottle. Pours with a rambunctious cap of foam and shows a medium brown with a fairly clear ruby in the light. Shows strong retention and some sticky lacing.

Aroma of yeast along with light fruit and caramel. Light yet complex and never overwhelming. Such a contrast to many American Dubbels that simply try to overwhelm. Quite similar to St. Bernardus and well attenuated. Warms to offer more complex notes.

Nice flavor, unobtrusive and yet delivering a multitude as for nuance on the finish. Feel is lingering but never sweet. Lightly coarse yet dry and showing just a hint of alcohol throughout. Touch creamy with warming, quite nice, and gladly the word cloying is not even in my vocabulary tonight.

I'll have to call it a tie for now with Prior 8.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 04:46:57 | More by HalfFull
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a hotel glass. Cap date is 06.04.14. As I understand it, the bottle was about 1 1/2 years old.

A - Starts a deep brown with some light and clarity along the edges. Toward the end, more and more light comes through and it drops several shades in color.

S - Complex dates, raisins, figs and fruit. It really builds your anticipation.

T - Spicy and fruity with brown sugar, dates and raisins. There are so many layers. It's complex but completely smooth and balanced.

M - Sturdy but also light and airy. It delivers the flavor perfectly.

O - I've wanted to try this beer for a long time so it could easily have been a letdown. But it was worth the wait. This is a wonderful hand crafted work of art.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 22:14:10 | More by GJ40
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to great BA Brabander for this beauty. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a very pretty clean, clear mahogany color with an inch of khaki head that had good retention but no lacing.

The aroma had good rich malts, earthy grains, and a nice yeast scent that had just a bit of spiciness. The flavors were the same, just better defined and clearer. The grains gave a solid foundation, the malts were a nice counter-point to the spice, and everything blended together very nicely.

The body was crisp, full and smooth. Drinkability was excellent, this would be the rare beer where I would want a large format bottle all to myself. Overall, a great beer. Worth whatever it takes to get your hands on.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 22:16:12 | More by beertunes
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer is a very dark red, rather brown. Moderately-sized beige head. Very good retention- head never leaves totally.

Smell is big. Very vinous. Raisin, grape, prune, brown sugar and sweet bready malt. Fruit scents are shockingly big.

Huge sweet fruit flavours: grape, raisin and prune. Brown sugar. Nice, soft bready malt flavours. Belgian yeast. Seriously good.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth and creamy. Really a shockingly good mouthfeel, just lovely.

Overall, just terrific. Truly a remarkable beer. Definitely lives up to expectations. I basically assumed the beer would be good but a bit of a letdown, and it was not in the slightest!

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 00:46:20 | More by jrenihan
Photo of vandemonian
vandemonian

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trappist Westvleteren 8 is a clean, dry and simple dubbel. I don't taste all the complexity that everyone else on this page raves about.

A: Dark brown colur and a big 2 cm head that lasts really well. 4.5

S: Strong aroma of Belgian yeast as well as a little sourness. Not a strong aroma. 4

T: Malty but quite dry with some subtle dried fruit flavour. There is some dry toasty malt in the finish and the alcohol is quite noticeable. I also taste some metallic flavours but I may be confused by the dryness and the alcohol. It's a clean pleasant beer but I didn't find it very complex. 4

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 4

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 01:15:29 | More by vandemonian
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Trappist Westvleteren 8 (aka Westy 8) from the monks of Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) out of Belgium.
Score: 97

"Best by" 11/30/14 according to the bottle cap. Served in a Westy 12 chalice and enjoyed on 09/17/12.

Appearance: Pours a chocolate color with some yellowish-brown color atop and mild ruby highlights at the bottom. There is excellent color depth and fade to the body of this beer, which wine aficionados should appreciate.. Pours a half finger of tan head that settles to a thin layer. Good lacing and average retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Slighty "fruity" yeast, caramel, figs and apples and a little chocolate. Some spice, a "nutty" maltiness, and a hint of brown sugar. Just a hint of alcohol esters too. 4.5/5

Taste: Figs, musty caramel malt and a hint of raw cocoa bean flavor. There is a smooth weizenbock-like banana-y yeast flavor on the center of the tongue throughout, and it lightly lingers. Unlike what the nose hints, there is no "fruitiness" to the taste really -- maybe faintly as the beer warms up. Instead, there is a dried dark fruit flavor here -- primarily figs, but a little date flavor too. Westy 8 beer is not sweet at all -- instead, it is possesses a very balanced, nuanced and drinkable maltiness. There's a very faint alcohol warmth on the sides of tongue, but no boozy flavor whatsoever. What an incredibly and carefully crafted beer! I am sure there are plenty of nuances that I just cannot pick out here. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied, and perfectly carbonated. Very creamy, slick mouthfeel. Malty, but balanced. 5/5

Overall: Easily my favorite dubbel. Call me crazy, but, at least relatively fresh, I prefer this one to Westy 12. This is such an amazing malt-dominant beer that has so much subtle complexity. I wish I had a consistent line on this stuff, cause believe me, there would always be a few of these in my fridge.

Recommendation: Seek this one out. It's at least as good as Westy 12, but without all the fanfare.

Pairings: The Mustard Seed Cafe's harvest panini (a turkey sandwich on zucchini bread with provolone cheese, slices of apples and cranberry sauce).

Cost: $12 for a 11.2 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 02:03:46 | More by jegross2
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 1,472 ratings.