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

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
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Ranked #1
Ranked #186
4.49 | pDev: 8.02%
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
Notes: (Blue Cap)
Reviews: 861 | Ratings: 2,350 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Even rested/chilled it forms head really fast, so pour super-slow. Pours deep chestnut brown with slight haze and a mid-tan 6Cm head. There's fast rising CO2 micro-bubbles up the side of the nucleated glass. ps. Holds well and forms major lacing on the way down.
S- Strikingly deeply toasty and rich malts; it makes me imagine how a bag of ground up Maltesers might smell.
T- Again very malty, deep roasty, a notably fat but classy ABV% note crosses my palate, off into hops, then further rich malts and into a hoppier somewhat dry finish. Solid yet refined. Blimey, if you think this beer's reputation is hype, wait until you try it!
F- Rich deep roasty, the ABV% is clear enough it's similar to some liquor barrel aged beers.
O- I picked this one for my 1950th review (the WestV12 will mark B2k). I was conscious of the brewery's repute and hype surrounding it, the difficulty getting their beer etc etc. Would I be underwhelmed, would I be underwhelmed but feel somehow obliged to rate it high. No way at all, this is a seriously luscious beer. Now perhaps some people might not like the fact that a 'mere' 8% beer lets you get an ABV% zing from it - some regard this as unclassy - but it works well within the rather glorious whole for me.
I'd happily drink this again, hell-ya, just maybe not at the cost it is imported into the UK!
330ml bottle BB: [can't find on cap] Bought from a shop in Belgium as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.

Jul 10, 2021
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Shared from a bottle with a friend on June 6, 2021.

The pour is mahogany brown with reddish hues under a boisterous, fluffy light tan head.

Lovely malt forward aroma sensations with Belgian spices and Belgian candied sugar.

The body was medium or better and smooth.

The taste is a luscious malt forward sweetness with Belgian candied sugars and the slightest clove and coriander character. Just delightful.

Jun 06, 2021
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Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A relatively gentle pour into a tulip still resulted in loads and loads of fizzy, beige colored head with some decent lacing. This is a very active beer in the glass. After 5 minutes, the head is still almost an inch thick and continues to be actively reinforced by the carbonation from below. Color is dark cola brown with a nice reddish tinge. Aroma is malty and sweet with a hint of alcohol.

Taste has a wonderful balance of sweet malts but with a nice dry finish. There's a complexity to this that I just can't place, but whatever those tastes are, they're working very well together. For me, the feel really shines. Medium+ bodied, plenty of carbonation but not overdone, and smooth in a way that really hides the alcohol. Very well done beer.

Apr 04, 2021
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle poured into a tulip
Bottle date stamped 16.04.18

A- pours brown in color with a ruby hue, one-finger creamy off-white head that eventually reduces to a ring around the edge

S- dark fruit aromas on the nose with notes of black cherry, raisins and figs leading the way. Undertones of sherry wine, honey, chocolate, Belgian candi sugars, orange peel, cracked pepper and fruit cake

T- vinous-like notes of dry sherry up front gives way to dark fruit notes of raisin, fig, plumb and black cherries. Mid-palate gives sweet notes of candi sugars, caramel, toffee and honey. Slightly peppery yeast and orange peel close it out, with dry dark fruits on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a bubbly foamy mouthfeel that continues into a dry, slightly warming finish

O- dark fruits, vinous wine and sweet caramels make this a fantastic slow sipper

Dec 20, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Muddy dark brown with a tan, very tall airy foam head that slowly condenses to a thick sponge before settling to a very pleasantly sturdy soft blanket.

Toasted wheat and clove present up front, and even a bit of peppery spice comes out on the swallow. Touches of plum and date then accent the medium-light body, as its substantial froth collapses on the palate into a slick and easy semi-dry swallow pricked up by a bit of heat. An additional development of baked apple with hints of cinnamon and licorice crops up as it warms.

This is definitely the most phenolic of the Westys, which makes sense for the style, for which this is a standard setter.

Nov 24, 2020
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Lucular from Maryland

4.02/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 cl bottle from Etre Gourmet. Pours a brownish/amber with a moderate head. Hits the usual dubbel notes of raisin/fig/malty caramel/hint of spice from the yeast - but also is surprisingly boozy and bitter. Overall, obviously I'm glad to have tried it but I will happily drink $5-6 dubbels from Chimay/Rochefort/St. Bernardus rather than spending $15 or so on this again.

Sep 23, 2020
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Etre. Solid dark brown in color with great clarity and a frothy off white head that persists and leaves lots of sticky lace. Light skunk aroma when first opened but that dissipated quickly leaving rich toasty bready notes with lots of dark dried fruits. Flavor is rich and decadent yet soft and delicate with an abundance of carbonation that gives a bit of a bubbly mouthfeel; light alcohol presence. Has a medium body with a bit of a drying finish that leaves just a hint of sweet caramelized malt on the palette. Spectacular beer! The 12 gets all the hype, but this one might be even better. Might need some more research on that.

Sep 16, 2020
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl brown bottle poured into a chalice.

Four finger dense foam thick taupe foam cap. Excellent retention. After five minutes settles to a dense foam layer with lacings and mountains over a dark cola like appearance

Aroma is as malty, brown bread , raisin, fig, whiff of spice

Taste is malty, brown bread, fig, raisin

Mouthfeel has big sudsing, fizzy, lighter mouthfeel , rich, creamy , sudsy . Hint of Alcohol with no burn

Good beer

Jul 31, 2020
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a goblet

A- A reddish dark brown with a three finger light tan head.

S- Figs, dark fruits, caramel, candied sugar, touch of bananas, a little earthy.

T- Dark fruits, figs, earthy, some caramel, candied sugar, earthy, hints of bananas.

M- Smooth, light to medium body, dry.

O- An excellent and extremely well balanced Dubbel.

May 19, 2020
Photo of DerekGilboe

5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The "lighter" relative of the Westvleteren XII is equally tasty but not as aggressive, softening the sweetness and maltiness to create a beverage that can be consumed on any occasion. Like the XII it will bottle age and mature the flavor, in some ways making it less heavy. What I like about this beer is the fruity notes in both the aroma and flavor where the hops are noticeably only in reducing the sweetness and leaving no bitterness. A highly recommended beer!

Apr 21, 2020
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Smurfman584 from Texas

4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 330cl bottle into a Triple glass. Pours a lovely brown color with plenty of head. Smells really wonderful. Perhaps like a sweet pumpernickel bread? Very nice carbonation. The taste is unlike anything I’ve really ever had. Distinctive and delicious. Will pick up another six pack when I’m again In de vrede.

Apr 12, 2020
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottled, blue cap stamped best by 12.07.21, so about a year and a half old. brought back from Belgium about a year ago and cellared since

pours a dark brown, with big foamy khaki colored head. pretty good head retention, eventually fades down to a thin covering, but that stays to the bottom of the glass. aroma is earthy, leathery, some dark rum, burnt sugar, and tobacco. taste has similar flavors, but very dry. medium bodied, carbonation is fairly high when I first start drinking, but it mellows out.

now I swirl the yeast from the bottom of the bottle and pour in. the aroma is a bit more estery and herbal. and the taste is a bit more bold and a touch spicy.

Dec 07, 2019
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a foamy and heavy head with a light brown note to it. The beer itself is a dark brown color that is opaque and looks very nice.
The smell is pretty good. It has an earth floral hop note upfront that mixes well with the darker and roasted toffee notes with a fresh plum note in the finish.
The taste is roughly the same but a stronger and more bitter hop note with a light burnt Belgian sugar towards the end but ending with the hop note. There is a light toffee note with a bit of berry underneath all of the hop notes though it does get buried at times. One thing to note is that the notes change as the beer warms up. When it warms up, the hop notes recedes into the background a bit and brings forth the malt and toffee notes.
The feeling is pretty good. It has a nice silky and cream texture to it even thought it comes off as watery on and off. The carbonation is light and soft. There is a slight dryness in the finish.
Overall, this a pretty good beer and worth drinking. It's a simple beer that manages to be pretty good without having to turn into a Frankenstein's monster with different ingredients.

Nov 15, 2019
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FLima from Brazil

4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank at the source
Brown color with a thick thin beige head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of prunes, caramel, mild fresh floral hops, a bit of pine, nuts, and some chocolate.
Flavor with notes of floral and medicinal hops, some cocoa, mild candied sugar, prunes, pine, nuts, spices, wood, orange peel, coriander, berries, figs, vanilla and green pineapple. Dry aftertaste with a decent bitterness.
Medium body with somewhat effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 8% is completely absent.
Aroma was a bit disappointing, but the mouth was quite nice given the fresh hops and complexity making this Dubbel as attractive as it can be. Sure, it does not compare to its big brother the 12th (unfair, different styles), but I had to keep raising the grade once it warmed up.

Oct 09, 2019
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Eureka ! I finally found it !
But, a friend had to bring it back from his visit to Belgium.
Westvleteren's rarity in the U.S. is understood, and the privilege of having one is appreciated.

Big bubbly brown foam, but I'd like more swirling protein. Smells are the famous fruits that I expected. Tastes follow closely in this very well-integrated beer. In the late palate as the brewers sugar recedes, the hops dry out the tongue in an unusual sensation... that I'd like to have again.

I went on their website. The Westvleteren monks have much to teach us. The primary lesson is simplicity. For example, they brew only three beers and all are world class. Focus. Something to think about.

Sep 10, 2019
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RaphaelSC from Brazil

4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown body with a light brown head with low retention.

Spiced bouquet with nutmeg notes, raisin and prune from the yeast, some toasted caramel appear too.

Mild sweetness with caramel notes on the first plane, spiced notes also appear on the taste as nutmeg and raisin, prune and banana raisin. Low bitterness to balance the mild sweetness of the beer

Medium to high body with high carbonation, sweet finish with lingering spiced mouthfeel.

It is a great Dark Strong Ale with caramel profile and spiced notes on the smell and taste, Not as strong in alcohol or overall flavours, it is and great beer for cold days or night, complex but never overwhelming.

Aug 29, 2019
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detgfrsh from Texas

4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From a bottle picked up in Belgium. Dark brown color with a thick layer of tan head. Smells of bready malts, caramel, and dried fruit. Medium feel, fluffy and smooth. Tastes like it smells, bready malts, moderate sweetness, and dried fruits on the finish. Outstanding, one of the best I've had.

Aug 17, 2019
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zuun from Korea (South)

4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L-Dark brown body with beige foam with proper thickness, which is lovely at first glance.
S-Bready, Honey, dried fruits such as prune, cherry, raisins
T-Quite a bit of sweetness, but not clear as Westvleteren 12. Also can taste dried fruits.
F-Very foamy and smooth
O-Quite heavy I think, which is the type I like, but if you want more sweetness, try Westvleteren12

Aug 03, 2019
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StJamesGate from New York

4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Moussy tan over oxblood; confectioners’ sugar, bright cherry, sarsaparilla, toffee, light clove, some banana + a touch of roses; cocoa, big black pepper, bread + butter pudding, marshmallow, prune, sticky toffee, + a bit of a floral end; smooth, moussy, medium.

4.25 4.5 4.5 4.25 4.25

I’m thinking of Westmalle as I drink this, which is the standard bearer + a lovely beer, but this is so much more subtle, nuanced, and complex. You’re just compelled to keep sipping. All the quality. Model of the style.

Apr 16, 2019
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clayrock81 from Florida

4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with khaki head and lace sheath down the glass. Aroma comes across as containing mild candi sugar/caramel (toffee?) malts sweetness, figs, raisins, other dark fruits like prunes, bread, and some floral hops. Smooth, creamy, the yeast keeps it smooth while the caramel/toffee(?)/(other) malts keep it sweet, yet you get the dark fruits, mainly some raisins and figs, along with some bread for filling body and the beer has great balance. Great beer, worth the hype, another Belgian that it is hard for me to even qualify and I'm glad I got the chance to try this beer.

Feb 21, 2019
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mishi_d from Romania

4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hazy brown color, beige head, aroma of caramel and dried fruits, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, medium carbonation, medium body, excellent beer.

Feb 04, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L -- Pours a lovely mahogany-brown body with a massive, pillow, three-finger off-white head produced with gentle pour. Fabulous retention and good lacing
S -- Brown bread, honey, banana, fig, prune, raisin, gingerbread, slightly oxidized herbal hops
T -- Largely follows the nose. A little bit of an almost saffron-like character, which is cool. The malts and yeast really work together nicely
F -- Medium mouthfeel, medium+ carb. Fluffy, soft mouthfeel and immensely drinkable
O -- Not quite of the caliber of Westy 12 but still damn good and a classic example of the style. Docking a quarter of a point for the high price point, even in Belgium


Jan 03, 2019
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kylesobrien from Canada (QC)

4.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of tart cherries, spices (clove, something vaguely like gingerbread), lightly phenolic. Like sniffing a spicy holiday cake with some prunes or raisins baked in. Thin persistent off-white head, faint lacing. Colour is an opaque cola brown.

Flavour is rich -- bready -- but with noticeable hop bitterness. A bit sharper than Westmalle Dubbel, my personal favourite. More spices here, not overly sweet up front but a little sticky in the finish, aftertaste has a pleasant drying astringency that avoids the cloying character of some other (mainly domestic/North American) Belgian beers of similar appearance. Alcohol is not overly present, but is hard to miss. It's a warming brew, to be sure.

The fruit character is tilted towards the plum/raisin/prune side of things. Carbonation is noticeable but not excessive, has an almost creamy mouthfeel.

All in all, a very interesting, subtle and complex beer. The standout feature for me is the balance of malt/sugar-derived fruit character and hop bitterness.

I actually prefer Westmalle Dubbel, but this is an excellent beer on its own. I'm not blown away, but it's enjoyable and worth trying. I wouldn't go out of my way to sample it again, unlike fresh Westvleteren VI, which is well worth the effort.

Jun 19, 2018
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generallee from Virginia

4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Right up front I get the classic dark fruits. Plum, raisin and fig with a touch of dark cherry. The malt has a deep earthy and somewhat nutty quality with a very mild molasses like sweetness and bitterness playing off each other. I also get a light note of black licorice and some bitter bakers chocolate moving into the finish. The finish has a firm earthy almost leathery hop bitterness with a warming Sherry or Madeira like alcohol character.

May 02, 2018
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janubio from Spain

5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the Westvleteren glass. Dark brown colour, with amber tones when held against the light. Medium off white head that fades soon, leaving a ring around the glass. Small crying lace. Aroma is exceptional, raisins, dates, chocolate, candy sugar, toffee, some diacetyl notes, anise, wood, brandy, even some coffee. Medium body, creamy and oily texture, good carbonation. Sweet caramel finish. Taste is exceptional too, just following the aroma: Chocolate, anise, dates, raisins, brown sugar, licorice, notes of coffee, brandy... Just one of the best.

Feb 21, 2018
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2350 ratings