Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
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Ratings: 1,620 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
4.48/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
06-19-2014 02:28:56 | More by Stevedore
4/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
06-15-2014 03:01:34 | More by artoolemomo
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,620 ratings.