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

796 Reviews
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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

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

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 796 | Ratings: 2,037
Photo of dmitrosan
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A great soft, complicated and balanced aroma! Very rich taste that becomes different with every next sip. Soft alcoholness and kind hop bitterness. A very long nutty aftertaste that becomes fruity at the end. Amazing beer!

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Photo of Duff27
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dated 10.09.13 which makes this about 4.5 years old. Thanks @digita7693

Lots of sediment. Beige cap and collar on a murky brownish red colored body.

Aroma of figs and raisins. Perhaps some brown sugar.

Taste is muted when compared to the nose. Slight dark fruitiness. Signs of oxidation.

Smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Enjoyed this one although I probably held on to it too long. Glad to try.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer makes me happy. I was lucky enough to get two cases at the abbey, and have tried a few fresh and am letting the bulk age. This is a wonderfully complex beer. The nose and taste have layers of flavor including expresso, burnt caramel, dried fruit, great yeast notes, and others. Nice long finish. It is hard to deny the challenge of getting this in the first place adds to the feeling when you drink it as well. After tasting the 12 as well, i agree with many other that this is a more drinkable cousin. I have no issue saying this is the best dubbel out there. Thank God I have more.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown in color with a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles. A fingernail of khaki head surrounds the rim and forms a circle in the middle of the chalice. Aroma is of dates, chestnuts, and dark candy sugar. The taste is dark malt and dark candy sugar. The mouth is moderately carbonated and that in turn prickles your tongue, it is also dry and warming to your throat.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Raison colored pour with a very thick, creamy toffee colored head.

S - Vanilla, dark fruit, dark candy sugar, and some cherries.

T - Sweet Belgian caramel, spice, light cloves, bready, yeasty, and with light cherry undertones.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation, slightly sticky.

O - This was a pretty old bottle in review.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky reddish brown. Big off white head. Thick collar

Smell - Pecan nuttiness when it's cold. Much fruitier as it warms. Yeasty. Kinda phenolic.

Taste - Very yeasty up front. Nutty as the yeast dies down. Some brown caramel malt. Light chocolate. Finish is clove spiciness. Aggressive hop flavor through, kinda grassy and bitter.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Not a style I love, but it's really well made.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage into Westy chalice.

Appearance is about as perfect as it gets for the style. Nice fluffy tan head, deep mahogany colored, and a gorgeous clear body giving the impression of a deep colored jewel.

Aroma is a bit subdued compared to say the Rochefort 8. But you get those lovely rum raisin, fig, date, and gooey dark caramel notes so prized in the trappist darks.

Taste is downright seductive. The dark fruits are very dry, you get some Caribbean Rum, soft cocoa powder, grade B maple syrup, Palo Santo wood, and hints of sherry. Such a tasty treat and not as sweet in nature as others.

Mouthfeel sports a body in the light range but the fluffy carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier. That same fluffy carbonation gives the beer a creaminess that is what elevates this to a world class mouthfeel. Just silky and glides through the plate. So dangerously smooth.

This is outstanding. The more I drink this and Westy 12 I am convinced that they reign along with Rochefort in the trappist ale category. As well as the belgian dark category in general. Beer brewed with passion, get some.

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Photo of aleigator
3.9/5  rDev -12.9%

Big fluffy head, with a cherry-brown color.

Aromas are defined by chocolate, malts, toffee and hints of coffee.

Very warm, alcoholic, malty beginning with plums and raisins. Fitting carbonation, helping the beer from becoming too heavy. Malt, in comparison to other Brunes, isn’t too sweet, gets mixed up with an enjoyable, spicy bitterness. Earthy, bready and warm malts define this beer, wrapped up in honey, as the beer warms up. Great balance, decent complexity, smooth mouthfeel, medium body.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.03/5  rDev -10%

Bottle purchased in Bruges and poured safely back home in Florida. Pours murky dark brownish purple with a massive light khaki head that sticks around. Aroma is dry funky barnyard yeast, surprisingly grassy, light spices, with low sweetness on the nose but for some raisins and figs. Flavor begins with a punch of sweet figs and pears and raisins balanced by a crisp grassy hop finish. Plenty of dry barnyard funk here from the yeast. Medium bodied but lightened up considerably by the high carbonation, crisp, with a dry finish. Definitely lighter than its 12 counterpart. Overall a very nice brew but maybe not quite living up to the considerable price tag. Worth trying, but don't kill yourself over it.

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Photo of stevoj
4.96/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aroma of apples and peaches, same dark brown color as the 12, but smooth and fruity. No alcoohol burn to be noticed. Acompanied with the apple tart...a mix made in heaven!

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Photo of WTKeene
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance: A chestnut brown, with a pale, eggshell-white head. Very creamy head, and it lasts a while.

Smell: Dark fruits, dates specifically, brown sugar and pale syrup. Definitely smells sweet, and dark in the way that Belgians tend to be.

Taste: Sweet, dark fruits, hints of caramel. Belgian sugar comes through a lot too, obviously.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and sticky, lower carb than with the Westy Blonde. Still works beautifully for the beer though.

Overall: Another solid, exceptional example of what a Belgian dubbel should be. Those monks know what they’re doing.

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Photo of endovelico
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bold and firm, this mohoganny brew shows tremendous complexity and focus, with a warming full body supporting notes of raisins, caramel, grape, chocolate, coffee, fruit, yeast and God knows what else - No joke intended. The finish is long and expressive and overall the beer is abound with stand out features.

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Photo of PrinceDarren
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I initially tried this along with a Westvleteren 12 and a Rochefort 10.

Poured into a new belgium tulip to reveal a thick, foamy head. The aroma reveals some citrus notes. It is decent dubbel that is easy to drink, but doesn't exactly stand out.

I would struggle to identify this in a blind taste test against other belgian-style beers. I can't see any characteristics that explain what makes it unique. I have a feeling that I should not have tried it alongside the other two quads as they seemed to over power it a little.

Edit: Tried it again at Abbey St. Sixtus along with the 12 and the Blonde and this was my favorite of the three. Definitely better this time around. Loved it.

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Photo of errantnight
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A beautiful, deep brown with creamy, fluffy head. Aroma is intense, complex, huge. Brown sugar, dates, hints of warm spice, faint metallic note.

On the palate, it's just ever so much a disappointment. The body feels a little thin, and the metallic note comes to the fore. What's there is really excellent, a round, nutty sweetness with an herb-tinged bitterness.

One of the best aromas on a dubbel I've ever had, but not one I'd make a particular effort to seek out, and didn't love nearly as much as the quad or the pale.

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

330cl bottle; best by 5/3/2016; poured into an unlabeled snifter 6/18/2014.

A- Dark brown body. Despite it not being black, this is a very opaque and dark beer. Comes with a thick, substantial two-finger offwhite head with fair retention; it drops quickly into a thick, frothy collar that remains for a good while. Some lacing. Darker and more opaque than I expected from the style; looks an awful lot like it's bigger brother, Westvleteren 12.

S- Dark fruits galore along with a good bit of caramel and toffee. There is a strong contingent of plums and dates that is very pleasing. Some dark chocolate, Belgian candi sugar, caramel and toffee. Even a bit of a distinct yeast scent. It's a very sweet smelling beer with a lot of complexity. Very nice.

F- Similar to the nose for once; but not quite as sweet. It's just as interesting, though. Plum, date, chocolate covered cherry, Belgian candi sugar, toffee, caramel and some dark chocolate. A little bit of molasses. Sweet and even a bit spicy with some yeast esters. On the backend, there is a fascinating grape juice-like sweet finish. Very complex palate.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and silky, quite resinous but somewhat dry. Very easy drinker with a lot of complexity and plenty of bubbles. Finish is grape juice tempered by some yeast esters.

O- Easily the best dubbel I've had. Very complex in both the nose and palate, with a very good mouthfeel. Reminds me a lot of Westvleteren 12 in its flavour profile, but quite a bit more drinkable.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which has excellent retention. The head is a light beige with hints of khaki while the body is a dark amber with hints of maroon and chestnut that shows as a hazy dark amber in the light. Leaves some lacing behind.

Nose- Very vinous and very sweet- almost syrupy if an aroma can be that. Lots of red grapes followed by plums and other dark red fruits. Maybe some grain. Swirling doesn't add much to the picture. Maybe little bits of leather but this isn't as complex as I expected it to be. I does not lack presence, however. Light citrus notes (orange primarily). Some other stone fruit, peaches.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose and seems to have a lot in common with its elder brother. Lots of vinosity and heavy grapes. Some plums. Spiciness on the finish. Some banana and coriander. A tiny bit of woody bitterness. Some raisins as well. Closer to the style of dubbel that I like but this does not seem to have the complexity of Westmalle (but that may be my favorite dubbel of all time.) Nice yeastiness and some cloves on the finish. A little bit of ash but I wish there was some leather, chocolate, and tobacco. A really good beer but there is nothing at the moment that indicates a great beer.

Mouthfeel- A little less than medium bodied with light carbonation and a nice dry finish. Maybe a slight hint of syrup.

Drinkability- Very easygoing but as I wrote before, lacks the complexity I expected. And because of that I will never pay the price that I did for this beer ever again. It was worth it to check this off the list though.

Overall- Really good beer that is one of the best in its style but just doesn't quite have what it takes to be one of the great ones. I don't even really understand this beer's placement in the top 250. But I also wasn't terribly impressed with 12 either. I'm sure some of it's the hype and some of it's differing taste buds. But if you have the money to blow, I would say give this a try. At least you'll be able to say you did.

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Photo of kevanb
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a Trappist Westvleteren chalice.

The beer pours a deep burgundy color, hues of dark amber with some garnet highlights, fair opacity with a soft, fizzy and foamy bone colored head that has moderate retention and leaves little lace behind. The aroma is wonderful, lots of big yeasty fruit, fig, raisin, plum and cherry with plenty of rich, malted barley, some spice character, like an allspice component with a nice helping of brown and candi sugars. The flavors match very well, plenty of fruit, predominantly raisin and plum, heaps of rich malt flavor with a nice spice layer that blends the fruit and the malt so well while brown sugar is not forgotten and sweeps over the finish with some noticeable alcohol. The body is super crisp and lively, loads of zip that coats the mouth wonderfully well and finishes softly but full of energy.

Verdict: A masterful take on the dubbel and perhaps the best in show for that style, hard to find another contender this complex and well rounded. The balance is spot on and the depth and complexity of the flavors is inspired. The monks certainly know how to make a fine ale.

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Photo of Guess2814
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Beer. Whoa! This beer here. I made a bad decision on drinking this beer after pounding down some St. Bernardis and Tripel. This beer has an intense taste. Strong as heck. This beer definitely leaves a lingering taste in your mouth. Cheerston this beer. Take your time with this one.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Pours a murky amber, topped with a thin yet bubbly tan head. This retains with some light ringing that leaves back a smattering of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of ripe fruit, spice and sweet sugars. A smidge of light alcohol, roast and some darker fruit character add some edge to the nose as well. The taste pretty much mirrors the aroma, with a rich and flavorful mix of tropical and dark fruits, toffee and brown sugar. Spice works itself into the profile effortlessly, giving things a zesty edge that lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a soft crispness to the carbonation. Just a touch of alcohol heft sits underneath but overall, this is extremely smooth in the mouth for an 8% beer. This is a really impeccable Dubbel, with a richness and smoothness to the flavors, which just knocks it out of the park. Fantastic beer!

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Photo of danieelol
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle cap dated 10.10.16

Pours basically a brown (dark brown though), with totally white fizzy head and lacing. Lacing is quite resilient.

First off smell is Belgian yeast- those tropical fruit notes and mango, almost like a lighter coloured beer. There's also a strong savouriness to this beer- a similar quality that I remember the 12 having in relation to other beers of its style. Heavily yeasty like the 12 and the yeast notes again remind me of celery. A slightly sour paw paw note and strong yeasty breadiness. Little bit of alcohol. Apple. When I pour the second half of the bottle (presumably including the yeast) in, the funky meaty paw paw notes increase, making for a better beer on the whole. Definite fig.

Taste is very dry- bready, yeasty. More paw paw and general tropical fruits throughout. Finishes with quite a bit of bite, almost a little astringently alcoholic at times.

Mouthfeel improves substantially after I pour the entirety of the bottle in the glass- it becomes extremely umami-ish and satisfying.

This is certainly a well-made, solid and dry beer. I'd go so far as to say it's easily one of the best BSDAs I've ever had. Not sure it quite deserves the hype in relation to beers of certain other styles however. If/when I drink future Westys I will try to get them with more age on them, as that is supposed to improve them substantially.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle with freshness date 10/10/16

Deep chestnut brown; a bit murky. Aromas of sweet malts, fruity yeast, brown sugar and dark fruit -particularly raisin. The taste mirrors the aroma with some brightness in the malt from the creamy carbonation. The mouthfeel is excellent with an oily viscous feel. The only mark against this beer is some slight solvent alcohol flavor on the finish.

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

My first perfect full review.
Best by date: 07.10.14

My Birthday Banger.

This one surprised me!

Ap - Deep chestnut brown, with lighter hues shining through the edges with a light source. Head is constant, off-white that leaves nice scattered lace. There is a hint of sediment, I mean flavor sparkles, in there if you look for it.

Ar - Simple. Perfect. Bready, light malty, subtle sweet cocoa, and dark fruit.

T - Similar to the aroma. There is a noticeable amount of a banana taffy flavor and more raisin, or plum in the middle. So clean.

M - Perfect. Next...

O - Wow! Completely blown away. Not expecting this quality. If you aren't a fan of Belgian style beers, this isn't for you. Perfection. This is amazing!


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Photo of heygeebee
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From poor after-the-event notes. Huge props to MrKennedy for sharing.

Has to be the biggest dubbel I have tried. The usual dubbel Belgian yeast, molasses and brown sugar morph more into almost quad territory, with christmas cake notes. Big big flavour and aftertaste. The 8% is very well hidden, and only slightly warming.

I had an open mind, and was maybe expecting the hype train to be in full swing, but was pleasantly surpised to find that everything folks say about Westy is true. Top stuff.

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Photo of pkalix
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

soft pour, huge head and tons of bubbles fizzing up from below the head. dark mahogany certainly does do the color justice as a descriptor.
I left this a bit warm, or rather, not chilled as someone recommended it to me that way. just a little bit in the frig to take it down a notch. the darker fruits come to the nose and the tongue. plum, fig, raisin. slightly spicy, but from the yeast. someone else mentioned brandied cherries and I think that is a great way to explain the aroma and taste along with the fruit. I have stayed away from the Belgian brews for quite a while as I was tiring of the rich yeastiness but this reminds me of my other favorites- the st. bernardus, and the rochefort, not quite the same as I remember now but very nice. very smooth. very stable. awesome head. beautiful tannish lace. 2nd pour is on top of the last bit in the glass is ultra creamy and thick enough to hold the sediment on top. taking a slight break I notice the head has risen toward the top of my tulip glass. it is GROWING. like bread. this is awesome! slight torch from the alcohol although it is more like a 'spirit' than a 'burn'. it seems much stronger than 8%, for sure. brown sugar, more dark fruit and more alcohol on the second half of this bottle. the liquid is not heavy, as I might expect for a higher abv. what a very wonderful brew.
pour is simply beautiful. the taste has to be as close to perfection as I have had, although I readily admit I rate most beers higher than others (it's all good, right?). I love how the brew is light and fluid yet firm enough to hold the still floating sediment on the top thin layer. i'm not intimidated by the degree of difficulty in obtaining this brew, or at least not reflecting it in the rating. I believe this is a great specimen and I wish there were more available.

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Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle. Very dark ruby pour, hazy and witg a fine tan head that gives way to a thick lacing. Smells of dark fruit, dried fruit, caramel and yeast. Tastes bitter-sweet, with notes of cocoa, chocolate, dried fruit, cola. Soft mouthfeel, medium to high carbonation.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 796 ratings.