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

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
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Belgian Dubbel
Ranked #1
Ranked #160
4.5 | pDev: 8%
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
Notes: (Blue Cap)
Reviews: 853 | Ratings: 2,320 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of larryi86
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of DerekGilboe
5/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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Photo of Smurfman584
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.23/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of FLima
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of RaphaelSC
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of zuun
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
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

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.41/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of mishi_d
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of Holderness
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
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


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Photo of kylesobrien
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of generallee
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of janubio
5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle, it pours a dark brown with a modest light brown head that fades to a robust ring and a large continent in the middle. Dark rum in the nose. The mouth gets a sweetish dark fruit flavor that does go down well and easily. Nice feel as well. Yum!

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unsure of vintage. Poured into a teku. Amber in color, substantial head that eventually fades. Smells of subtle candied sugar, slight banana. Taste really floored me. Didn’t expect it to be that good. Candied sugar, light breast flavor. Super drinkable. I could put these away easily if I had a bunch. Overall, great beer. Really exceeded my expectations. Thanks Ray for sharing.

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Photo of longarm
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thick rocky head. Tantalizing fingers of foam slide down the side of the glass. Dark brown-raisin color.

Aroma Strong on the dark rum,licorice and yeasty alcohol.

Strong acidity balances the malty character in the flavor perfectly. Spicy-dark fruits bring the complexity and keep each sip a little mysterious.

Mouthfeel has plenty of body but washes down easily. Creamy carbonation smoothed by acidity.

Enjoyed this gift from some friends who live in Belgium. Paired it with a tasty duo of Comte and Stilton cheeses and a baguette. I’ll take more days like this, please.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown appearance with slight brown head. Aroma is a dark fruit slightly sweet. Taste is also a dark fruit that is slightly sweet. The feel is a little on the thin side.

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Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can't quite make out the date on the cap but it's the year 2020 at least.

A: Pours dark brown with an enormously huge light brown head. Head is towering and sticks around forever. When it finally does fade it leaves nearly solid lines of lacing on the glass.

S: Very bready, smells like bread crusts. Some dark fruits in there too.

T: Wow, yeah. Sweet up front with some candy and maybe hints of caramel? Sweetbread maltiness that quickly loses the sweetness, leaving a bread crust flavor behind immediately afterwards. Interesting. Light spices in the finish, some cloves for sure and maybe even some grassy hops and bitterness as well.

M: Medium bodied, fairly smooth. Quite sharp and bitter on the back end.

O: Well, I have to say that I don't really like dubbels. But this is the best one I've had and I've had most of the highest rated ones on this site. Enough said!

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a Leffe chalice.

A: The body is dark brown with a high haziness but not "dirty". Head has an amazing retention at one finger thick and is white. Plus, lots of lacing.
S: The aroma has tons of things. Raisins, blackberries, other berries, dark fruits, belgian ale yeast and a roasty malt profile. It's really amazing despite not being my type of beer. Alcohol is noticeable.
T: The taste has a beginning with raisins and blueberries. There's also a sense of dried fruits. In the back, a belgian yeast covers every flavour graciously, including the roastiness of the malts. Well done indeed.
M: Body is medium high. Carbonation is perfect. Alcohol is noticeable after the swallow, slightly. Really good.
O: Only my second Westy, and but thankfully also as good as 12. Remarkable despite being far from my kind of dubbels. Praise this beer!

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Photo of Rristow
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from bottle. Tasted head to head with Westy 12. Pours a dark brown with off white head identical to Westy 12. Aroma is not near as strong but similar. Notes of dark fruits, caramel, maple syrup, toffee. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than Westy 12 but still chewy and sticky. Flavors of brown sugar, maple syrup, figs, plums, raisins, caramel, toffee. Overall excellent for being the little brother to 12.

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Photo of thebeers
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Muddy, ruddy brown with a fat finger of creamy, tan head.

Raisins, figs, prune, cherry and slight earthy hops in the nose. Similar tasting with a moderate bitterness and very clean finish with just a hint of sweetness and bitterness duking it out. Incredibly well balanced in that regard.

Medium bodied, slightly chewy with heavy carbonation. Very, very tasty.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2320 ratings