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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BA SCORE
99
world-class

777 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 777
Hads: 1,870
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 1,315
Gots: 335 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website
Belgium

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 777 | Hads: 1,870
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Westvleteren Glass at the Abbey cafe on 9/8/12 - not sure when bottled or any of that. Pours a deep chocolate brownie looking brown, with slight tan rim. Superb fruity yeast aromas. Taste is really just amazing...chocolatey, dried fruit and some spice/vanilla maybe. Super smooth and just all around amazing. Although the Abbey was so over commercialized, its still worth the visit to try them at the source. Obviously, go out of your way for this...because there really isnt any other choice! (517 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from that distinctive Westy bottle into a Westvleteren chalice.

Westvleteren 8 pours a dense walnut brown color with a slight cranberry tint. A creamy tan head forms gently on top with the initial pour. There was a lot of sediment in the bottom of the bottle, to the point where it was difficult not to pour it in.

Caramel malt, figs, dates, overripe red apples, brandy, and cinnamon gust up my nose.

The flavor is more of the same. The flavor is not as sweet as I would expect, though. There is a bit of caramel up front providing a slightly sweet base, but the fig, date, red apple, cinnamon, and all spice do not provide enough sweetness to overcome the boozy brandy that comes through. There is great integration of the flavors - a sign of long-perfected brewing processes.

The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect, for the style or otherwise. The body is on the full side of medium, representing the 8% ABV quite accurately. Each sip has a foamy, creamy carbonation with just a bit of a crisp, tingly bite to it to help ease the flavors down the tongue to reset after each sip. Very smooth.

This is a wonderfully balanced and drinkable beer. I am glad I finally cracked my bottle. (1,193 characters)

Photo of davey101
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01.03.15...making it a 03/01/2012 vintage. Split a bottle at a bar, poured into a tall tulip glass. Quick phone notes.

A - Dark brown body, pour yields a nice one finger tan head. Solid lacing.

S - Lots of spice, Belgian yeast, brown sugar, figs, and toffee. A bit nutty and sweet.

T - Spice and dark fruits lead into a cola syrup flavor. Notes of brown sugar, liquorice, molasses, toasted nuts, and spicy yeast as it warms up. Ample carbonation with a silky and chewy medium mouth feel.

O - Not quite as complex or intricate as the quad, but this is certainly the best dubbel I have tried. Very tasty, even being this fresh. (629 characters)

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

Poured into a Shelton Brothers The Festival Tasting Glass.
Ironic that my first Westy 8 is poured into the first glass I tasted westy 12 from.

A: Golden dark brown color. One finger head that lingers forever. Settles to a creamy film across the surface.

S: Very distinctive smell to Westvleteren. The 8 smells quite like the 12. Sweet, spicy aroma, possibly some roasted nuts and honey detected along with the hops

T: I still feel my tongue is not sophisticated enough for westy. My tongue is confused. Lots of flavors and spices blend together into what I call the westy taste that I can not distinguish.

M: Nice body, thick and thin at the same time. Carbonation lingers on the tongue.

O: It lives up to the Westvleteren name, however I do not feel it is worth the effort required to seek out in the US. (811 characters)

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

A-a slightly hazy dark chestnut color with a fingers worth of white head that leaves some lacing around the top

S-rich malt, warm vanilla, and slightly fruity

T-wow that is delicious! Rich malt, dark fruits, perfectly fizzy carbonation, caramel, hint of chocolate, and nicely spiced.

M-medium body, perfect carbonation, and leaves a nice malty taste in the mouth

Overall my first Westy did not disappoint! I think this is the best dubbel I have had. (453 characters)

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

Found at Belgobaren in Stockholm, SE on July 27, 2012. The very plain brown 0.33 L bottle with the blue cap identifying the beer with the date "10.11.08" -- this is an old one! This is my first experience with W8 so I can't comment on whether the age has done it well.

Poured into a Trappist Westvleteren chalice glass, beer is brown, with orange hues, but so dark it barely transmits light. Topped with a thin tan head. Small amounts of gritty sediment sinks in the glass. TONS of brown sludge left in the bottle. Intense aroma of raisins and figs -- rich and fruity. Aroma reminds me more of a barleywine or even an old ale more than any Belgian ale.

The flavor is similarly rich and "brown" with prune and raisin fruit on the palate. These fruit flavors present immediately upon sipping. The carbonation is moderate, but actually comes across as a little heavy for this style. The second wave of flavors comes across with a minor tinge of sourness and lighter fruit, apples, and so on. As with Westvleteren Blonde, there's no detectable residual sweetness, but this beer has less funkiness. The lighter fruits are followed by a heady bit of alcohol, though no burning or otherwise unpleasant artifact of the 8% ABV.

Perhaps this beer is not quite as drinkable as the Blonde, but considering the increased alcohol content, it is still fantastically drinkable. The flavor profile really is so totally different it's a toss up which is better, but the deep color and, unquestionably, the fantastic aroma, set this beer apart. (1,528 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to randjuke for sending this one! Poured from generic Trappist bottle to brandy snifter - best by date of 18.08.13:

Pours a murky ruby brown stuffed with slow, steady beading. A few fingers of khaki head swell to create some fantastic lacing. A perfect looking beer in every way.

Mmm... overripe figs, red wine bits, some Belgian yeast far and away, a mellow blanket of tartness sort of ties everything together. Certainly not as in-your-face as its bigger brother, but it achieves a better sense of balance I think.

Leathery wood notes, dates and figs, super smooth. It's got that tobacco presence thing that bothers me in the Westy 12 but here it is more in balance with the rest of the beer. Subtle lingonberry as well.

The mouthfeel and appearance are the real highlights of this one. Super creamy with a relatively thick body.

A fantastic dubbel. (867 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown color with a two finger, thick foamy head, off-white in color. Nice retention reducing to a nice cap on top. Rings of lacing form all around.

S: Very nice aroma, plenty of dark fruits that are mixed with brown sugar and a bit of molasses, some plums, raisins, and fig. The Belgian yeast comes through as well. Slightly sweet.

T: Plenty of grapes, raisins, and plum up front mixed with a little bit of chocolate and sweetness in the middle. There is a bit of spice on the back end, some pepper mostly.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth and creamy with a nice level of carbonation.

O: The best dubbel I have had to date, and I don't imagine I will find one I like more. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel. (721 characters)

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

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Deep, dark, rich brown with a beige foamy head and plenty of lacing

Smell - Belgian spices/yeast, earthy, with a hint of funk

Taste - Complex flavor profile with a robust malty backbone, rich belgian spices, and a hint of orange peel; flavors linger

Mouthfeel - Rich and silky with a powerful kick up front but tapers to smooth

Overall - Not usually a Belgian beer fan but this is a unique beer that is powerful without the malty sweetness one would expect from a higher ABV. Full flavored and good for sipping! (563 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

(Aged for 1 year)

Dark, hazed brown, with dark ruby and crimson edges and a thin khaki colored color that hangs around throughout the duration. This leaves thick sheets of lace down the glass. Gorgeous beer.

Complex aroma, though I wish things were even bolder and more expressive (perhaps things have faded a bit over the year). There's still good amounts of dark fruits (plums and plump red grapes), distinct Belgian yeast, some bread crusts, and a bit of molasses sweetness.

Fantastic, drinkable complexity wrapped up in a delicious, deceptively simple package. The dark fruits notes, bread, molasses, and bright Belgian yeast combine for a marvelously drinkable dubbel that has a distinct, earthy tobacco finish.

Medium bodied with moderate, creamy carbonation. A joy to drink. Smooth as silk. Perfect. Only the Belgian masters can seem to pull this off.

Fantastic. (890 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Andrewinski1. Poured into a tulip. This one pours brown with a hint of plumb and a thin pillow of white head.

The aroma has a nice plumb and dark fruit aroma with hints of dark sweet malt. Mellow dark fruit flavors with some toffee sweetness in the background. Nice dark bread malts with a little bit of a bitter finish.

The body is medium with good carbonation. A little bit sticky. Overall this one is pretty well done and incredibly drinkable. (458 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Claark13 for sending me this as an extra. Sorry it took me so long to get to it. There is a great dark brown color with slight amber hues. There is a nice foamy one inch light tan head.

The aroma has a great plum and some brown sugar.

The taste has a great fruity flavor with lots of plum and some apple. This mixes well with nice sweet caramel malt. The finish is deliciously fruity.

This is medium to full bodied, with a lively mouthfeel. Awesome stuff. Much better than Rochefort in my mind. (512 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had my first westy 12 last march when my daughter was born, why not go for my first westy 8 on father's day? big thanks to metalgdog for sending this bottle my way.

cap dated 30.09.12 (so 2007 vintage?)

a - opened the bottle and filled my trappist westvleteren chalice. brew poured a deep brown with a generous creamy head. only a true belgian dubbel could catch that big creamy head. the head hung out and moved as a unit. really attractive.

s - wonderful grape nutmeg smell with a hint of heat. great belgian candied sugar. some hints of caramel and mild spicy zest. really smells like a BSDA. wonderful!!!

t - a masterpiece. dark fruit bouquet married with some heat on the finish. the candied sweetness in the nose is also on the taste. truly a wonderful brew. dubbels at times are a bit too in your face for me, but this is tamed back with a great sweetness to even out any harshness of the style. absolutely perfect tasting.

m - the first thing that really jumped at me was the feel of this beer. SUPER silky and smooth. there is a bit of heat on the finish, but this beer just has a creamy wonderful perfect body.

o - one of the more flavorful dubbels i've had. the sweetness balances out the dark fruit and heat really rounding this one out immensely. i'll have to have my next one of these next to a westy 12 since i can't remember enjoying the 12 as much as this beer. this beer is amazing...one of the better beers i have ever tried. i was simply blown away by this beer. (1,489 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Josh, you da man! Cap date 12.05.13.

Brown, hazy, tan head and mild lace. Aroma of raisins, malt, spices, a touch sweet.

Rich and complex taste, though not game-changing like Westy 12. Finishes dry with malt and spices. Improves as it warms. Good, but can't touch Westy 12. (275 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At In De Vrede on 6/6/12

Arrives at the table with a dense tan head. The beer is a very dark brown (but definitely not black). There are aromas of figs and dates and a noticeable alcohol presence. On the tongue there's an explosion of chocolate and a slight bit of raisin. There's moderate alcohol bites, although the light body belies the strength of the beer. Very smooth and creamy. This was hands-down our favorite of the three Westy beers. (445 characters)

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a champagne glass. Bought in Brussels (but I've also had it at the brewery's cafe a year ago).

A: Brown, medium head.

S: Strong molasses / caramel smell, with a touch of fruit and honey.

T: Sweet and caramel flavors. Tasty, but not super complex.

M: Medium body and carbonation; quite drinkable, compared with the Westvleteren 12.

O: It's a good abbey beer, to be sure. But is it considerably better than something like a Westmalle dubble? I doubt it. The Westvleteren 12 is too strong and not much more complex, though, so I think it's the best of the (overrated) bunch. (600 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cL bottle poured into a chalice
Best before date: 06/04/14

A big thanks to 4thlovofbeer for sending this and a 12 over in a trade.

A: Pours a murky dark mahogany  with some sedimentation floating in the glass.  1 fingers width of light khaki head, which dissipates down fairly quickly to a thick film that remains throughout the drink.  Leaves a small amount of spotty lacing.

S: Doughy, sweet, sugary.   Like freshly baked cinnamon rolls.   Candied sugar, dark fruits including fig, really great.

T: Dark fruits including fig and dates. Spice, lots of spice!  The faintest hint of cocoa on the aftertaste.  Some sugar sweetness but not to the degree of the nose.  Spice  is predominate but still maintains good complexity and balance. My girlfriend, who is not a beer drinker, tasted it and immediately said,  "it's like a party in my mouth".  Excellent.

M/D: Pretty  heavy carbonation that allows the flavors to explode on the entire palate but still remains very smooth. On the heavier side of medium bodied, no hint of the ABV and drinkability is incredible.  

O: Overall, what a fantastic beer.  Hands down the best Dubbel I've ever had, and it's not even close.  Honestly, drinks like a quad, and a great one.  Flavors and aromas are a little toned down compared to the Westy 12, but I guess that's the point of a Dubbel. No doubt the epitome of the style. World Class. (1,402 characters)

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

Not your average Abbey Dubbel. Darker fruits than in other doubles, no muddled flavors. Westy 8 is drinkable, thankfully balanced, and has a clean finish. The aromas have both the usual brighter notes of citrus, as well as the darker cherries and figs. A complex blend that tastes as good as it smells. Not my favorite overall style, but usually I pour them out, and this one I quaffed with enjoyment. Thanks to Chris for hooking it up around this time last year! (463 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to totoropanda. Bottle I believe to be dated 11.09.13. Opened on 5.15.12.

A - Pours a dark to medium brown with a nice sized foamy and fizzy light tan head. The head very slowly fades leaving lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet dark fruit, honey, molasses. Very Nice.

T - Again, dark fruit, light sweet molasses. Some cola-like flavors hit me at the finish.

D - Good carbonation and a perfect smooth body.

O - A true delight. I really tried to savor this one as long as I could. (492 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, lively carbonation, produces a thin white head that diminishes to a thin film.

S - The Belgian yeast smells of figs and cherries are really coming through.

T - Sweet brown sugar and dark fruit, a bit of booze, some fig and a hint of something almost herby. Nicely complex for a dubbel.

M - Light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

O - A great beer that I'm glad I had the opportunity to try. Just like the 12 this is worth the hype and price to try this special beer. (518 characters)

Photo of beergod1
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade from England. Pours a murky brown with a light brown foamy head. Aroma is huge and delicious. Heavy, rich malts with vanilla and dark sweet fruit. Sweet flavor that ends with light bitterness. Very drinkable for a high abv. Perfectly balanced throughout. All-around fantastic beer. (301 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ive been staring this one down for quite some time, and this is only a lead up to the 12! Not the biggest fan of Dubbels, but I hope this turns it around. best by 1 19 13.

Pour is a very murky and opaque brown. small carbonation and really little head.

Smells sweet dark fruits (raisins and plums), candied bronw sugar, and even more plums. Hints of Belgian esters and yeast muddled in the background.

The taste is, just wow. Definitely the best Dubbel Ive had. Very thick doughy malt, and a nice dose of brown sugar and molasses. Syrupy and sweet, yet dry and balanced from the 2 years of aging. I think the balance is astounding, honestly. Nice accents of Belgian Yeast esters floating around in the background.

Its way too drinkable, and Im not normally a huge fan of overly sweet beers. This thing just keeps so many complex flavors in check and balance. Everything is such moderation, yet every single flavor still shines. Mainly, the brown sugar and doughy roasted malt come to the front, but I really like how the molasses comes in and dries out what could be an overly sweet beer.

I love this beer, and would drink it if it werent so freaking expensive. (1,167 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is ALMOST as good as the 12...the only thing that makes it not as good as the 12 is that it is not the 12!! The Westy 8 is one of my all-time favorite beers. It has all the characteristics of the 12, just not as complex and deep. If you have not had the opportunity to enjoy one of these great beers, do yourself a favor...find one and drink it. Enough said...

A: Golden brown, frothy, foamy...
S: The best...fruits, caramel, notes of spice and fig....deep...
T: Your 5...the 5 of beers is here....liquid caramel delight!!
M: Smooth, sweet and so drinkable...
O: Get one and drink it....

Note: 2 to 4 year aging of this beer is optimal... (650 characters)

Photo of mscudder
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to my good friend Kevin for giving me this opportunity. Consumed roughly 2 months back and documented.

A - Cloudy mocha brown with a thin tan head. This beer embodies beauty.

S - Soft and warm on the nose. Caramel malts and some other sweet notes coat my nose.

T - Warm toasted malts hit initially followed by sweet malts, caramel and dark fruits. The flavors are all in perfect balance and all seem subtle, while remaining pronounced in their own light. The best Dubbel I have ever had.

M - Medium body, creamy and soft, as if it were freshly baked. One of the richest feels I have ever encountered.

O - In short, this is one of the most delicate, well refined brews I have ever had. I was unaware that a Dubbel could carry such a taste, and I aspire to make a trip to Belgium soon! (801 characters)

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

Appearance: It has a dark cloudy amber/brown color to it. It has a thick creamy beige head that dies down slowly and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of dark fruit (grapes and raisins), with some belgian yeast and spices.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has nice fruity complexity giving out grapes, raisins and plums with a nice spicy clove character and bready yeast.

Mouthfeel: It has a high carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great complex flavors and aromas. (574 characters)

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 777 ratings.