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

Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Ranked #1
Ranked #165
4.5 | pDev: 8%
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
Notes: (Blue Cap)
Reviews: 856 | Ratings: 2,329 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mhksuccess:
Photo of mhksuccess
mhksuccess from California

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Jul 03, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pleasure to enjoy this magical beer at the Cambrinus Restaurant in Brugge in complement to a fine late lunch is as welcome in my memory bank as profound as any I have had in all my beer drinking days.

As the beer pours into the challice, the carbonation errupts and threatens to overtak the rim. But alas, it settles into a creamy and rocky set of tightly and loosely knit foam with tremendous staying power and intricate lace to boot. The beer underneath is a dark garnet with lavender highlights carrying a modest yeasty haze. The beer just exudes prowessness.

Delicate and succulent aromas provide a candied fruit scent of powdered sugar, ripe grape, light sherry wines, cahsews, honey, mild chocolate and toast. A mild spicy note that seems somewhat of wine, wood, dried orange peel, and peppercorn come to life just as the first sip is taken.

The taste envelops the mouth, coating it with the taste of powdered sugar, dry malt, red wine, candied grapes, nuts, berries, and the background note of dried pitted fruits like dates and figs. Very well balanced with dry malt tannin, spicy peppercorn, and slight citrus- this beer captures wave after wave of flavor combination with exquisit balance and finesse.

Soft and expansive textures seem to explode in the mouth giving an airy robustness that's somewhat firm and whimsical at the same time. But the beer's ultimate dry and powdery warmth causes it to disolve on the tongue just like cotton candy, and when the beer finishes there's nothing there to swallow- only an impression of dry fruit and spice that lingers softly in aftertaste but easy on the palate and stomach.

Jan 23, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's time once again to add a little beer to this mug of mine. Since the first addition to the glass was Westvleteren 12, I've decided to keep it in the family and go with Westvleteren 8, the best dubbel on the planet according to those whom I respect and admire.

Pecan shell brown that takes on more of an auburn hue with orange highlights when backlit. The voluminous toast brown head appears frothysoft, but is deceptively firm with a supernatural persistence. This beer is simply beautiful in the glass. Lovely aroma of heavily toasted caramel, dried fruit (apples, figs) steeped in brandy, and spice (cinnamon, allspice). The nose is complex to be sure, although it could be a mite stronger.

Wonderful flavor; delicious. My first impression is that, although there are many flavors to be had in this bottle, the beer is unquestionably a seamless, individual entity. As I drink, I actually have a mental image of a sphere that has multiple and varied components, but is first and foremost a perfectly smooth whole. My first bottle of exceptional wine was an eye opening experience because it introduced me to the concept of what I like to call 'volume'. This beer has an superabundance of volume.

When a beer is this well-crafted, this flavorful, this complex and this nuanced, when it has a body that is at once full and silky smooth, each mouthful seems to completely fill the mouth, to have such a depth and breadth of flavor and body that it expands into three dimensions and push the boundaries of sensation. That, my friends, is the best way that I can devise to describe the loveliness that is Westvleteren 8.

The flavor profile is amazingly similar to the nose, but much more satisfying ('tis the taste, the actual imbibing that I crave). Sweet, dark caramel-toffee, brandy-soaked cherries, leather, good bourbon... combined with a grace and a lightness of touch that will make your very soul weep with pleasure.

Is Westvleteren 8 better than Westvleteren 12? My vote is an unqualified 'yes'. I could drink this every day for the rest of my life and not tire of its myriad charms. This is as soul satisfying and as life affirming as beer gets.

Sep 25, 2004
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: .33l brown bottle. Direct from the source, so no label. Just a blue cap and the number 8. Served in a traditional Westvleteren silver rimmed chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a mean chunky off-white head of stiff foam. Settles to a patchy lace with sticking and staying power. Colour is a very deep, dark ruby. Poured leaving most of the yeast in the bottle.

Smell: Incredibly rich aromas of Belgian candy sugar, toffee, yeast and gentle spices -- like anise.

Taste: Extremely smooth on the palate with a wonderful creamy mouthfeel with a fine and gentle carbonation. Luscious malt flavours of chocolate, coffee, licorice/anise, toffee, prune and honey unfold onto the palate with a slightly slick buttery-like (diacetyl). Notes of brandy pull-thru for even more depth of character. A racy sharpness hits with a unique yeast flavour, very mild tea-like bitterness and a spicy alcohol presence. Perfect balance. Dry finish, a little slick on the palate, a bit oily, with coffee and earth flavour residuals and alcohol vapors.

Notes: I'd go as far as saying that this is without a doubt one of the best beers on the planet. Truly a masterpiece.

Jun 03, 2001
Photo of Dragginballs76
Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light brown semi transparent with off white head. Lacing looks like glitter in the light.

Aroma - Raisins, plums, bread, molasses candied sugar.

Taste - Very similar to the aroma lots of dark fruit an bread Belgian yeast and candied brown sugar.

Feel - Medium bodied no sign of the alcohol.

Overall - An amazing beer, great flavors wonderful feel.

May 01, 2017
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a pancake batter head that drapes sheets of lace

Smell: Very different aromatics from this one - phenolic scent of caramelized apple, rum-soaked raisins, french toast with vanilla sugar, honey and almonds

Taste: Opens with a rum-soaked raisin and caramel flavor with budding vanilla flavors by mid-palate; Amaretto, as well; after the swallow, the caramel, creme brulee takes over and additional alcohol appears on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; very smooth

Drinkability: While very similar to its boozy cousin, this one is less sweet and less alcoholic and, in my opinion, much more drinkable

Thanks, UncleJimbo, for the long-awaited experience

Dec 20, 2007
Photo of trumick
trumick from Michigan

4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, hazy brown color with a huge tan head that is still there after several minutes and a couple of sips. The lacing is stuck fast to the snifter all the way around.

Scent is of funky Belgian yeast, dark fruits, bananas, bubble gum, sweet sugary malts and just a hint of alcohol.

Taste absolutely follows the nose. Dark fruits, bananas, maybe a bit of that bubble gum, sweet bready malts and that wonderful yeast spiciness. Finishes quite dry for the overload of malt at the front. Maybe, the spiciness from the yeast?

Mouthfeel cannot be improved upon. This is as smooth and silky as the 12 maybe even more-so. Medium to full bodied and just so creamy and smooth. NICE!!

I would drink these until stupor insued, probably 3-4. Then happily pass out in front of a late showing of Sports Center. I said it before, NICE!!

I only have one though, and it's gone.

May 21, 2006
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84 from California

4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Received in a trade with JW347 on 1/12/2008. The cap reads 09.03.10., which I believe means it was bottled in March of 2007, making it three and a half years old. Stored at 55 degrees since I received it.

Poured into my Bruery snifter. Dark brown with a crimson tinge. The head is one inch and quite frothy, with adequate retention and a little lacing.

Redolent of dried dates, plums, and raisins, the aroma displays a moderate malt sweetness with toasted notes. Light oxidation is evident and alcohol is soft. I detect candied sugar and Belgian yeast. As the beer warms up toward room temperature, I get notes of cherries and a dash of chocolate.

The flavor is more alcoholic than the nose suggested. I can taste every basis point of the 8.00%. It tastes of sweet bready malt and dried dark fruits such as dates and plums. The finish has a candied sugar quality. Malt sweetness and dark fruits linger.

Upper medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation and some alcohol warming. An enjoyable Dubbel.

Jul 24, 2010
Photo of Travlr
Travlr from District of Columbia

4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown color with a strong lacy tan head. Malty, nutty aroma. Full mouth. Complex malty, vinuous, nutty flavor with hints of dates, raisins and dark cherries. Amazing complexity grows with each year of storage. Younger brother of the 12 and very nearly as good.

Oct 31, 2009
Photo of mtbdonn
mtbdonn from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Feb 25, 2012
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
Chriscrundwell12 from Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Westvleteren Chalice
Date on cap: 10.09.13

A- Really nice looking beer. One finger egg shell white head, dissipates to a nice frothy layer on top. Really nice lacing that coats the side of the glass. Dark dark brownish red color. Floaties galore, probably the most amount of sediment i have ever seen in a beer.
S- Wow incredibly sweet/fruity aroma. Dark fruits. The raisin and plum come out very strong. Brown sugar, sweet malts.
T- Different then the aroma. Not as fruit forward as the aroma, brown sugar, molasses in the taste. More plum then raisin, figs come out. More balanced then i was expecting. The aroma was so fruit forward and sweet, the taste differs drastically, very impressive!
M- Medium mouthfeel, dry finish. Leaves a creamy feeling in your mouth.
O- Im really impressed. Its been a while since i had Westy 8. This was my last bottle from my trip to Belgium 3 years ago. I shed a few tears as i finished it, but really enjoyed it!

May 07, 2013
Photo of fireinsyrup
fireinsyrup from California

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Petertauro
Petertauro from Spain

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 10, 2015
Photo of lonestarstate97
lonestarstate97 from Texas

4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jan 27, 2015
Photo of Holderness
Holderness from Massachusetts

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


Jan 03, 2019
Photo of satowns
satowns from Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick creamy head. Deep opaque ruddy red/brown.

Raisins and alcohol. Mild floury grain aroma.

Fairly sweet. dark caramel, toffee. mild peppery phonolics.

medium bodies with appropriate carbonation.

very drinkable...too bad its so difficult to acquire.

Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Avryle
Avryle from Vermont

4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap dated 15.08.10

Huge thanks to drseamus for sharing this on such a beutiful day over tales of skeksies.

A- Pours a dark, silghtly hazy, dun color with a creamy off-white head. Head slowly settles to a thin cap with patchy lacing

S- Rich malts, Belgian candi sugar and grapes. The nose is incredible. Very rich.

T- Verty similar to the nose. Rich malt flavors of toffee & caramel of with notes of cherries and dates. Slight bittering hop finish to balance the taste. Warm & dry, brandy-like finish. No flavors dominate the others.

M- So smooth and creamy. Wow. Nice medium body with an ideal amount of carbonation. I could drink this all day.

D- So easy to drink. Its so well-balanced that nothing reaches out & kicks you in the teeth with its overwhelming presence.

Apr 13, 2008
Photo of drowland
drowland from Georgia

4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3/25/11. Bottle courtesy joes! Hazy deep brown pour with a small fizzy tan head that’s gone fast. Malty aroma with yeast, caramel, and a hint of mint. Reminds of me of a ligher version of 12... Grapey, yeasty, smooth, caramel, and loveliness. You can tell that these beers are very well made. Nice!

Jul 26, 2011
Photo of dwoolley1
dwoolley1 from New York

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Jun 17, 2013
Photo of dmsohyea
dmsohyea from California

4/5  rDev -11.1%

Sep 20, 2014
Photo of HoppyLuckyGoGo
HoppyLuckyGoGo from California

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Jun 06, 2013
Photo of Mplsbrew
Mplsbrew from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Sep 04, 2014
Photo of Beervana
Beervana from Canada

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Aug 25, 2014
Photo of yaron73
yaron73 from Israel

4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A bottle from a beer store in Brugge.

Apr 16, 2017
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev 0%

Jun 16, 2012
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2329 ratings