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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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BA SCORE
99
world-class

1,789 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,789
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.26%
Wants: 1,275
Gots: 303 | FT: 21
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,789 | Reviews: 774
Photo of grub
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

group tasting may 26/07 with biegaman, Viggo, Lexx, crwills, blankboy@RB, tupalev@RB, and me (grub). everybody threw something into the mix and we had a great lineup of beer. Viggo contributed this one, so thanks eric!

330ml bottle, best before 11-12-06.

pours reddish brown with a small dense tan head. the head drops fairly quickly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. lots of dark fruit. hint of alcohol. wheat bread and biscuits. caramel and toffee.

taste is great. lots of dark fruit - date, plum, raisin. toffee and caramel. light alcohol. bready malt.

mouthfeel is great. light well-integrated carbonation. nice big body.

drinkability is excellent. well balanced and very enjoyable. the alcohol is nearly completely hidden. it's obvious that this is a lighter version of the 12, but it's very nice and good in its own way. huge thanks go out to eric for sharing this gem.

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

A million thanks go out to deepsouth for this amazing extra in a trade! Date code 22-11-10. Pours a dark brown color with amber highlights, a thin cap that stuck around throughout, and little lacing. Lots of sediment in the bottle that I tried to keep out. Aroma is grassy, a bit of dark fruit, lightly sweet, some brown sugar and apples, yeasty, smells great! Flavor is very nice! Hints of chocolate, candied dark fruits, brown sugar, herbaceous hops, a hint of raisins, a bit of grassiness and a hint of musty sourness. The aftertaste lingers for quite a bit and there's a faint roasted coffee and burnt caramel flavor that sticks to the tongue. Tastes fantastic. Flavor is on the higher side of medium, but still medium and nice crisp carbonation. This is a very tasty beer, but I could only see myself having one at a time, but it was great to be able to sample this rare treat. Thanks again, Jason!

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

Found a few bottles of this in Brussels along with the Westvleteren blonde, although unfortunately not the 12. Poured into a Westvleteren chalice in Bruges.

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

S- Very fruity, figs and dates, some caramel and malts with a bit of spice.

T- Lots of fruit again, loads of dark fruity flavors like figs, raisins and dates along with some anise spiciness and sweet alcohol. Excellent malt backbone with juicy bread, molasses, and some dry grains towards the finish. Yeast and mild hop bitterness are noticeable in the background.

M- Medium bodied, full carbonation, slightly slick but rich feel.

O- An astonishing beer, I've never had a dubbel that can even compare with this.

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

Cheers to billab914 for this one! Now where to find more... :) Review is on a pour into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, muddy chestnut brown. A good 2-finger toasted cream-colored head fades to a reasonably well-retained bubbly, foamy skim. Sticky rings of lace hang thickly off the walls of the glass.

I am an aroma snob, and this beer smells fantastic. Loads of toffee, deep syrupy cherries and toasted nuts meet that distinctly, uniquely sweet candi sugar and a toasted, grainy foundation. I barely want to start drinking it because it smells so incredibly fabulous.

Taste has a distinctly sweet overtone comprised of sticky golden raisins, caramel, toffee and burnt marshmallow. Alcohol is warming and a little hot on the tongue, but in a pleasing way that really complements the nutty, grainy flavors. The taste is very full and complex. Feel is mouthfilling and foamy without being fizzy thanks to some gentle carbonation. It creates a nice lingering, tongue-coating effect that prolongs the enjoyment of the beer.

Drinkability is endless. It goes down so smoothly and is so delicious, with only the slightest bite from the alcohol. I definitely enjoyed this beer, and it certainly lived up to the hype.

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

Bottled, served in Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Pours with a dark brown body, burgandy hues, thick frothy tan head with good retention. Some yeasties floating around

Smell, strong and estery, full of dark dried fruits, plums too. Slight whiff of alcohol although its very refined, like a single malt whiskey only less.

Taste, smooth and dark malty caramel, honey and maple syrup. Raisins, toffee and some alcohol on the finish

:) Fantastic...i prefer this over the 12 actually

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.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cap dated 29 10 09

A - Pours a deep brown ruby with ruby highlights and a thin tan head that leaves patches of foam behind.

S - Wonderful aroma. Sweet dark fuits of raisins plums and figs, a hint of caramel and candy sugar, tart apple and some belgian yeast. Very complex.

T - Plums, raisins, figs, slightly tart apple, caramel and candy sugar. Not as complex as the aroma.

M - Slightly creamy with prickly champagne like carbonation and a dry lingering finish.

D - As good as I remember it when I had it in bottles at the Maproom years ago.

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

27.01.13 printed on the cap. I've personally had the bottle for a little over a year.
I wanted to keep the cap so I opened it slowly, and lost a little bit through the partially opened cap, so make sure your glass is ready.

A: Pours a murky reddish brown amber, with a huge amount of foamy tan head. A thick blanket retains and leaves good lacing.

S: Rich, malty, and deeply complex, much like an aged barelywine. Elements of clove and other spices, but it's blended into the whole rather than being starkly noticeable on its own.

T: Rich complex maltiness; nicely balanced and not overly sweet. There's just a touch of bitterness towards the finish, with a lingering slightly boozy note.

M: Medium body, medium but very prickly carbonation.

Overall, awesome. I wouldn't mind trying it younger, as it's a little less boozy than I would usually age, but it certainly held up fine.

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

Kind of a hefty price tag but it's worth it to finally have Westy available in my area. I tried the Westy 12 almost 2 years ago by trading and didn't really have the palate to appreciate it at the time. This being the 12's little sibling maybe I should have tried this one first. Pours a deep mahogany color with a very thick and creamy light beige head. The foam actually threatened to escape the bottle immediately after opening. The aroma is a nice bouquet of fruit, spice and sweet malt. Rich bodied and on the carbonated side, with a mild blend of dark fruit, malt, caramel, spice and a hint of sweet chocolate. None of the flavors really stands out, instead it is a nice harmony of flavors. The finish is very crisp and lively on the tongue. The flavor is a little more subdued in the finish, but this is still a well-rounded and exemplary Belgian.

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

Pours mahogany with ruby, orange and brown showing up in the light, nice lace on the glass, tight white to off white head. Smells of alcohol, burnt sugar, dark cherry, apple, caramel, raisin, dark fruit, toffee. The nose on this is extremely complex and inviting. Taste is dark fruit, raisin, candy like sugar, apple, a very pronounced sharp warming alcohol is present upfront that pushes this along but isn't overpowering and a tannic presence in the finish. Mouthfeel is solid with a great weight and a subtle but present carbonation, very solid. Drinks really well, starts off as a slow sipper but as it opens up and warms it drinks much quicker, truly excellent stuff.

Photo of drink1121
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a rich mohagony with an off white head that sit on the beer like a plastic cookie cutter with the edges being thicker than the center

S- Big time cherries with that slight cherry sourness. This is on complex smell though. Darker fruits come in behind that with a bit of malt heat.

T-Not all that similar to the smell. The taste has a good bit of malt breadiness too it mixed in with dark fruits and some heat that numbs the mouth slightly. Not nearly as complex as the smell

M- pretty creamy for a Dubbel which I like. Thin is not in and this beer knows it.

D-I could pound these puppies but I am also excited to see this one aged for a few years to see if it becomes more complex as the heat dies down a bit.

Photo of WestCoastBeerDude
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of donnebaby
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown opaque color body with an intricate tan head. Small bubbles soft all the way yet arriving to a tighter capping on top. Thin, feathery lacing that shimmers as it rolls around the glass.

Smell is distinct pineapple with some apples and muscat grapes, sweet yet not overpowering. Alcohol lurks within but can easily be mistaken with the potent pineapple. Subtle clove spicing. As it warms, flavor explodes out into more tropical fruity sweetness and more cinnamon and cloves.

Taste is remarkably compact and quick. A quick burst of spice and overripe pineapple in the soft yet somehow slightly aggressive carbonation and then it is all washed away into the hop dryness that seems to last just long enough and not really seem dry either somehow, like the taste after eating a particularly crusty part of hard bread. Smooth, smooth bubbles seem incomparable.

Became easier and easier to drink as I drank. Dang good beer!

Photo of DavidSomers
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opaque. Cloudy. Brownish. Two fingers worth of head. Thick lacing later on.

Nose has typical Belgian esters.

Taste is not near the 12, but still very good. Dark candi sugar noticeable. Typical Belgian esters stronger than in nose. Become stronger as it warms.

Mouthfeel is perfect at first. Not as good as it warms, but still excellent.

Goes down real easy, esp. for 8%.

Final thoughts: an excellent brew but don't fall prey to "you can't find it, it is sooo good." There are other dubbels out there that will keep you happy.

Photo of jayray
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33cl brown bottle with no freshness date to be found, thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle gets stirred up a bit from the initial push of carbonation.

Appearance: Tons of tiny bubbles burning a path through the dark and tawny brew, some of the sediment made its way into the glass as it was lifted by the carbonation in the bottle. Those bubbles hold a very solid cream coloured lace together.

Smell: Sweet tart granny smith apple, soft herbal phenols and bready malt with a yeast backing make up the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Stiff crispness holds its own up against the creamy and thickly layered medium body. Big expressive bitterness from some hops but more of a tangled yeast, herbal phenol and spiced bitter flavour. Fruitiness gets juicy in the middle with some tag along alcoholic esters. Good foundation of malt that leaves nothing untouched as it unravels flavours of whole grain bread, faint molasses, toasted grains and a light dry husk in the end.

Drinkability & Notes: A big thumbs up from me, more than just a noteworthy brew. Beer like this makes the big picture of good beer that much more clear. An addictive sipping style brew.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of bashiba
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark brown with lots of sediment, a big creamy tan head that left some minor lacing. Lots of carbonation running throughout.

Has a big and fruity smell with some herbal and spicy qualities.

Flavor is very nice with a mixture of dark fruitys, figs, chocolate, toffee, and cloves with a bit of a minty bit of hops in the finish. Very balanced and mellow yet it still has a lot of flavors and deep complexity.

Mouthfeel is very creamy with a nice medium body and lots carbonation, yet finishes very dry and clean.

Very easy drinking and tasty belgian, would be a mainstay in my fridge if it was readily available.

Photo of Rutager
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a hazy, deep brown with a little amber coming through. Two fingers of thick, creamy off-white head that painst the sides of the glass.

Smell. Caramel, rum, vanilla, and dark, dried fruits. All big and bold. A little almond and spices like nutmeg, ginger.

Taste. Raisins, rum, caramel. Just a little apple, nutmeg and ginger along with belgian yeast. Finishes quite clean and alcohol is well hidden. Really nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with smooth, medium carbonation.

Drinkability. Very nice and the best I've tried of the style. Lots going on in here and it all works well together. Glad to have tried this.

Photo of n2185
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a murky dark brown with two fingers of off-white head. Good retention with a little lacing.

S: Very dry, barnyard aroma with some sweet dark fruits underneath. There are some spicy Belgian yeast aromas on the finish.

T: Very similar to the aroma, lots of barnyard flavors with touches of dark fruits as well. The finish has a slightly bitter, bready finish.
M: medium body with high carbonation, it's very crisp and nice.

O: a very unique, but very good dubbel. Wish it was more available though.

Photo of lou91
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful looking beer – alive, with a rich dark red color and a wonderful nose that makes your mouth water. On the pour it left a dark dollop in the center of sediment. Oh what a great first taste – so silky like it was on nitrogen. The alcohol is clear and present and leaves a lasting burn as the sweet honey bitter chocolate and dry hop flavors linger on your palate. This beer is a world class and fully satisfying in one glass. Block out an hour of your life and enjoy. Get it at Jackson's in Lafayette.

Photo of CraigTravor
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mdagnew
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam... Date on cap is 26/08/09... poured into a Westvleteren chalice...

Poured a deep burgundy red colour with some dark brown tinges... some small floaties also...
Creamy mocha head poured very tight, thick and foamy then faded slowly to good meringue like one finger covering... lots of sticky lacing lines hang round until near the end...

Aroma - Rich alcohol soaked dried fruits (raisins, dates, prunes, stewed plums) mixed with lots of typical spicy Belgian yeastiness, lots of anise / cough mixture notes, leathery, toasted nuts, muscovado sugar / treacle sweetness, some sour vinegar traces (kind of like a Flanders red), cut wet grass, some pepper and nutmeg spiciness...

Taste - Strong spicy fruits (definite raisins, figs and prunes), toffee apples, toasted malts, molasses and treacle sweetness, malt loaf, quite strong Belgian yeastiness, some warming alcohol, bitter chocolate and liquorice, peppery, light medicinal notes, spicy / peppery hops cut through the sweetness, light ginger spiciness.... outstanding...

Feel - Very smooth and creamy with a light sharpness just coming through... medium / full bodied... unbelievably drinkable even at 8%...

Overall - Another world class brew from Brouwerij Westvleteren although i think a little more age on this would have made it even better... Outstanding and highly recommended....

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, almost cola-brown, with a single finger of foam on the top of it. No lacing is left on the glass with this one.

S: Belgian yeast, bread, and some dark fruits. Not much, but it's still pretty solid.

T: This is where this brew shines. Taste is full of dark fruit, yeast, bread, and nice hints of chocolate throughout. Alcohol warms a bit, but is quite pleasant.

M: Smooth, with a nice deal of carbonation.

D: This is an easy-drinking Belgian. Quite tasty, and enjoyable. Were it not so rare, I would quite happily drink it frequently.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 1,789 ratings.