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

813 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001

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Reviews: 813 | Ratings: 2,128
Photo of tigg924
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is dark wheat and pumpernickel bread, caramel, raisin and a bit of alcohol burn at the end. The layers of flavor here are so much deeper than any other dubbel I have ever had. Sweet medium bodied, with high carbonation. I like quads better that dubbels by nature, but this is better than Westy 12. This is the best Belgian beer I have ever had and right up there with my all time favorites. Get this one.

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Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a murky dark brown color, with a very thick and fluffy tan head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a huge amount of lacing.

This beer has a sweet aroma. I detect some molasses and some caramel. It also smells a bit spicy. Some coriander and orange peal. Maybe just a touch of cloves. It smells of figs also. It has an earthy yeast aroma as well.

This beer tastes great. Every flavor is sublte, and it balances very well. Spices up front. Some fig flavor also. It tastes sweet with some caramel flavors. Plumbs and raisins also make an appearence.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a slightly spicy aftertaste. It is carbonated perfectly. It is crisp and refreshing.

I think this beer would make a great session beer. It tastes great, and it is only a little high in alcohol.

Overall: Thank you so much HimerMan for this unexpected but definately apreciated beer. It was everything I expected and more.

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Photo of harrmatees
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not a beer expert yet, I am just getting into this, but this beer is by far the best I have ever had. It is so smooth you dont even notice the high alcohol content. I have a bottle of the 12 also, I will be drinking that soon and will let you know about it.

I wish I had another, it was well worth the money.

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Photo of RickS95
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unfortunately, I couldn't read the date on the cap. The first number was 23 and after that, I have no idea.

It pours a brilliant shade of chocolatey brown. It's a rich shade of dark brown, with some lighter hues around the edges. The head is offbrown and initially a work of art. It dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a thin film of creamy bubbles on top, particularly around the perimeter of the glass.

You can almost smell sweetness. It actually smells like a caramel covered apple from the fair, with green Granny Smith apples and some caramel filling the olfactories. Aside from that, nothing else stands out.

Taste is almost perfect. It's malty with the caramel that filled the nose. You can pick up some dark, rich fruits like raisins and dates. Even the apple makes a cameo. There is a slight bitter note, as well as a hoppy bite, in the finish to balance out the sweetness.

It's a tremendous symphony of sensations on the palate. Sweet initially with a creamy mouthfeel. Near the end, there is a tartness which leads to a semi-dry finish with a slight hoppy bite and just a touch of heat from the alcohol. Medium-bodied and rich throughout.

This beer is better than the sum of its parts. It's simply extraordinary. It's extremely complex, but nothing is offensive and everything complements something else. It's simply a wonderful beer.

Edit...enjoying my second bottle almost a year later. The smell has intensified. Still the same scents, only they're stronger and work together better. The taste is the same only everything has meshed, along with a bit of alcohol making more of an appearance. It's without question my favorite beer in the world.

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Photo of Gregaroo
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7-7-2014 - My actual 50th! At the brewery with the bride and daughter (who unfortunately could only have the ice cream). So so good. Get here early for the view and hospitality.

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Photo of FreshHawk
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark garnet mahogany with a deep amber hue on the edge. Huge, fluffy, creamy, thick, frothy, off-white head with amazing retention finally settling into a very thick and creamy lace.

S - Good amount of sweet, caramel, and slightly bready malt base. Dark and golden fruit on top of that with a lot of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, some clove and allspice, amongst others). Wonderfully balanced and strong and enjoyable fruitiness.

T - Similar to the nose with a rich, sweet caramel and bready malt taste being pretty strong. Also a good amount of molasses, brown sugar, and dark candi sugar along with the spices. Fair amount of dark fruit and a bit of golden fruit (particularly apple). A touch of nuttiness is also present.

M - Medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D - Very easy to drink. Flavors all work well and have a complex mixture. Extremely smooth and goes down easy. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Notes: Best before 30/09/12. Very good beer, and right at the same level as the 12. Very complex, malty beer. Very easy to drink, if only it was easier to get.

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Photo of msfoster77
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was awesome. In my opinion this is better than the twelve.

Pours a dark brown with a red tinge. The head lingers and has great lacing.

The smell is complex, yeasty, and sweet with a little bit of booze. It is really quite a unique smell.

The taste is crazy complex. It is semisweet and bready, but the carbonation makes it lighter than you would think. It has a great mouth feel and it warms your whole body as you drink it.

This is an incredible beer. I have one stored away for a good day and I can't wait to drink it with a little age on it.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Ehammond1 for giving me this beer for a birthday present after I told him it was still the best beer I have ever had. Bottle dated 22.06.14

Look: Pours a beautiful coca cola brown with a 1/2 inch off white head and great retention

Smell: Great dark fruits nose. Plums and raisins with a touch of caramel and toffee

Taste: This is still to this day the most complex beer I have ever had. It starts off with just a fantastic party of dark fruits in your mouth. Figs and plums and raisins are all working together to form a perfect symphony on the palate. The beer then finishes with just the right amount of caramel toffee and tobacco

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium to mild carbonation and a bit sticky

Overall: This is hands down the best beer that has ever passed through these delicious lips of mine. If I could only drink this beer for the rest of my life I would be content and die a very happy man. Perfection in a glass

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Photo of Zorro
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A VERY hard to find beer!

Pours a clear walnut brown colored brew with champagne like carbonation.

Smell is a Mozart symphony, tart yet strongly malty scent! Fruit flavors abound too, lots of apple, but grapes and cherries, lemon, Paw Paws, and pineapple!

Taste is as complex as the smell, or more complex. Mildly sweet with a complex mix of sugar flavors, like a gourmets caramel! Molasses, Brown sugar, apple juice, melon, and Maltose are in here. Fruit flavors are in this too, mostly apple but notes of plums and papaya, pineapples. Nutty flavors like Walnuts and Pecans, and almonds are in this too. The Spice layer has cinnamon and all spice as the main flavors, but not the only ones. Bit of black pepper bite and a hop bitterness in the finish. There are woody flavors in this too, mostly oak and cork.

Mouthfeel is full with champagne bubbles.

Drinkability is a masterpiece of a sipper’s brew! This cost $7 for one small bottle for a REASON!

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Photo of GbVDave
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a St. Bernurdus chalice. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to HeatherAnn for the incredible Christmas present!!!

Best before 29.09.10

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with an incredible two-finger, light khaki-colored head of a luxurious creamy consistency that leaves lace draping all over the inside of the glass.

S: Big, tangy, dark fruit aromas, right off the bat. Plums, figs, rum-raisin bread pudding. A slight berry quality as well. Vanilla bean, caramel, molassas, and dark chocolate.

T: Sweet (but not cloyingly, so) caramel malt, vanilla, and chocolate dominate at the beginning. These are followed, closely, by brown sugar, raisins, plums, figs, light hoppiness, and black pepper. Incredible!

M: So. Very. Creamy. The creaminess is complimented expertly by a dry, hoppy, astringency that makes this beer absolutely come alive on the tongue.

D: So smooth and creamy and easy to drink. I don't think it gets much better than this!!!

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Photo of dalion037
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this is a great Belgian. It had miles of creamy tan head that lasted for a couple minutes. It reduces down to a silky foam floating on the top. The beer itself was a dark reddish brown. The taste of sweet, yeast, caramel does a great job of hiding the 8% alcohol that sneaks up on you. The beer is thick enough to cover your tongue with the rich taste of heavenly trappist ale you will definately remember.

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Photo of jazztoloc
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Goblet from a 330 bottle. A friend brought it from Belgium. I am new to beers from Belgium, so it´s kind of difficult for me to make this review. What it's very easy, it's to say that this is an amazing beer, I am really impressed.

A: Cloudy brown with a big brown head and a nice lacing. The traces of the beer in the glass look great, it hangs into the glass walls.

S: Some alcohol, some fruit, grapes, funny but it's tamarind again with this belgium beers. The aroma is so complex, I wouldn't know how to make an accurate description.

T: A lot of fruit nicely blended with the alcohol. Grapes, tamarind, alcohol. Can't feel the hops in this kind of beers.

M: Big carbonation, backed up with the amazing taste and aroma. Big body, sticks into your whole mouth.

D: I could drink this wonderful beer all my life, I can see why people get so into to belgium beers.
A lot of things are sayed about trappist beers, and I am positive, the are all true.

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Photo of moulefrite
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To date the most interesting and tasty beer I've had. This has everything in the right place for the style-how would/could it be better-only if it were more readily available. The beer pours a massive head in which underneath lies a very dark brownish red life substaining beverage. Aromas are at once complex, inviting and very unique. The beer is richly malty, yet softly fruity at the same time. The balace here is perfect! In the mouth a triumph of complexity! Rich and malty with deep roasted flavors followed by mildly assertive bitterness. Extremely subtle fruitiness comes enveloped in flavors the finest bitter chocolate. The alcohol, while strong is so well integrated you hardly know it's there...until all the sudden you do! This may be better consumed in a soup'll last longer! This is like drinking a beer version of Chateau Margaux ! A real treat!

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Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

hands down the best beer i have ever had to date...
poured out a very nice deep brown with a perfect 2 inch head that dwindled slowly.
smell was of spicy fruitiness and some carmel sweetness
the taste was about the same but i recieved a littel more of the malty spiciness then sweet or fruit.
this one went down amazingly smooth and if it was not as expensive as it is i would buy this over and over again. outstanding. IMHO this one is defintiely better then the westy 12

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Photo of Frozensoul327
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfection. Pours out to a dark cranberry brown color with a lively head of foam. Nice lacing. Medium level of carbonation. Aromas of sugary candy and yeast, with subtle spicey notes and malts lingering in the background. Very enjoyable. Taste was exemplary, complex and inviting. Utterly delicious. Flavors of yeasty bread and malts, with a toffee candied like sweetness; grass and grain, dark plumbs and nectars. Wow. Mouthfeel was buttery smooth and slightly jazzy due to the mild carbonation stemming from the small, easy sips. Very high level of drinkability. If it weren't so expensive and hard to find, this would be it. Possibly better than it's quadrupel brother "12". World Class, and Highly Recommended.

THE BLOODHOUND FACTOR: Yes, I shared this heavenly brew with my angelic pups. They both were thrilled with it, even though they got little more than a cap ful.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cap stamped 08.10.13. Poured into a wine glass. Once again, thanks to Chrislouden for this awesome Westvleteren experience. He is a god amongst beer aficionados.

Appearance - Dark clear ruby black body. A bit lighter than the Westy 12. Frothy offwhite silky head. Also with great lacing. no visible sediment for the first pour. During the 2nd bottle, I took the 3rd pour and got all the sediment. It was considerably darker than anyone elses pour, due to the sediment. It was basically black even when held directly to the lightbulb.

Smell - Smells like a cross between the westy 12 and the blonde. a bit corny and a bit medicinal. Not in a bad way. That's just the best i can describe it. pretty exotic for the style, but that's a westy for you.

Taste - Wow. This is the 3rd westy i've had tonight. Another A+ from me. These guys really know what they're doing. this is a bit more bitter than the other westy's but only but a slight amount. And unless you had them back to back you might not even notice.

Mouthfeel - Great mouthfeel. Creamy with great carbonation.

Overall - juset a superb beer. I cannot overstate how satisfied i've been with the westvleteren experience tonight. I know overhyping something is the best way to ruin it, but as long as you come to this beer with the proper mindset, you're sure to enjoy them.

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Photo of jayhawk73
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Major props to a BA of the highest order for sharing this bottle-Huhzubendah. Thanks Matt!

Review from notes:

Pours a dark amber/brown color w/ a beautiful two finger cocoa head. Fantastic lacing on my tulip glass, and it sticks around until I wash the glass. Fantastic for the style. Nose consists of caramel, raisin, figs, cinnamon, spice, other fruits, and yeast. Super complex nose, and constantly improving and changing. By the time this beer is fully warmed, the nose gets bumped from a 4.5 to a 5. The taste... Words can't describe the taste. It's constantly changing, swirling in a cauldron of awesomeness. The profile is similar to the nose, w/ some fresh baked bread in there for good measure. I can't think of a single thing to improve here- thus the perfect score. Feel is super silky and smooth, with different amazing things happening to your mouth as you experience this brew. Full bodied, and perfect. Overall, I was blown away by this beer. Major props to BA Huhzubendah for sharing it w/ me. Cheers!

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Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rootbeer brown and eager to raise a tall cake of caramel foam. The aromas are reminiscent of a Turkish coffee, complete with cardamom seed, yet, at the same time, frail. Loosly wrapped with nutmeg, white raisin, dark rum, whole cream, spring branches, rainwater and black stones, the aromas are utterly seductive.
It offers the kind of tannic grip one might associate with tamarind husks or date pits. Incense-like qualities increase through the pack passages to the sinus. There is an intersection on the palate with the resinous, herbal qualities of fine chocolate too. Raspberries and beeswax pull it toward unspoiled, comforting, Middle Earth fragrances -- up front -- while easy, sad, wilting, exotic perfumes of New Orleans close it. Full stop.
This is non-Grand Cru Grand Cru.

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Photo of pzrhsau
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Nice brownish opaque color with some red hues. The head is foamy and robust. It sticks to the glass and has a nice cream color.
S: Nice acidic aroma with some hints of oak or piney. Slight tangy maltiness.
T: Initial tanginess is met with some nice rich mat flavor and slight hoppy flavor. All the flavors balance on a knifes edge in perfect harmony. It has some nice undertone of dried fruit and a good bready flavor.
D/M: Crisp and good weighted beer. These beers always give me the sense of a drinking a pew or something. Not bad a all. Really great present to get.

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Photo of GJ40
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a hotel glass. Cap date is 06.04.14. As I understand it, the bottle was about 1 1/2 years old.

A - Starts a deep brown with some light and clarity along the edges. Toward the end, more and more light comes through and it drops several shades in color.

S - Complex dates, raisins, figs and fruit. It really builds your anticipation.

T - Spicy and fruity with brown sugar, dates and raisins. There are so many layers. It's complex but completely smooth and balanced.

M - Sturdy but also light and airy. It delivers the flavor perfectly.

O - I've wanted to try this beer for a long time so it could easily have been a letdown. But it was worth the wait. This is a wonderful hand crafted work of art.

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Photo of illidurit
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Blue cap stamped "26 08 05." Obtained via trade with Peabody, my new favorite person on earth.

Modest pour into my Westvleteren goblet (god it feels good to pour a beer into its specific glass) results in a 1.5 finger vanilla head that peaks a millimeter above the rim of the glass. The beer itself is dark brown and quite murky due to some yeast that snuck into the pour.

I get fig, raisin, sour cherry, chocolate, cocoa, yeast, dough, candi sugar, and probably a lot more on the nose.

Taste is unbelievable. Every flavor flows into the next with ease and seamlessness. A perfect level of doughy malt flavor sets a foundation upon which cocoa, rum, fig, and cinnamon frolic. I don't see how any other beer could possibly have so many flavors blended with such subtlety and balance.

I would give mouthfeel a 5.5 if I could. Smooth as the finest silk. The carbonation is absolutely quintessential, end of story.

I want to drink a barrel of this beer. Overrated? No.

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Photo of mmthompson33
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The most perfect beer ever made. Westvleteren's unique yeasty flavor in their beers is unparalleled, and each Westvleteren 8 you drink will be an experience you never forget. Trappist beer at its best.

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Photo of Delerium
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An excellent beer, and a must try for all advocates. I think this beer may be better than the Westy 12. Malty, slight fruit taste, and quite the big beer for the lower alcohol level. I'm sure this beer could be aged for a few years and still be delicious. Medium sized head with great lacing, this beer pours a ruby red, dark colour. I highly recommend this beer. Chris

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Photo of JBogan
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, let's get this out of the way first. This is the best beer I've ever had, bar none. As you can see, I've given it perfect marks in all catagories. I'm not one to give perfect scores either. In fact, of all the beers I've reviewed so far I can only recall giving a beer a perfect score in any catagory once, and that was to the Westvertleten 12 for mouthfeel. So with that in mind, here we go ...

Poured a dark brown with ruby highlights. Rich creamy two finger head which stayed through the glass and left excellent lacing.

Smelled of plums, raisins, caramel, subtle spices, and no sign of alcohol that I could detect.

Tasted much like it smelled, a perfect balance of the above mentioned fruits, caramel and spices.

Mouthfeel was superb. Smooth and creamy with just enough carbonation. Medium to thick bodied and smooth. Oh, and did I mention it was smooth?

This is as drinkable as it gets. If someone told me that from this day on I could drink only this beer, I'd say bring it on! My favorite beer on the planet, bar none.

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Photo of unclejimbay
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on one of a few BA/Rare Beer Night Tastings during the month of September 2010. I was not able to take detailed notes on this one, but I did make some shorthand and took mental notes in order to prepare a small review. I plan to take more detailed notes on my next opportunity to try this rare find.

Thanks to Don Lowman for sharing 3 of Westy 8s & 12s with the group, a very generous gesture indeed.

Appearance is dark brown/chestnust in color with a thin but fluffy tan head.

Complex aromas of dark fruit and dark malts, followed by Belgian yeast spice notes.

Tastes as it smells with and amazingly smooth and well rounded flavor profile. Raisan and fig flavors sneak in.
Medium body with medium+ carbonation and smooth velvet mouthfeel.

Surprisingly drinkable at 8% abv. I personally enjoyed the Westy 8 better than the 12, but I am curious to try both again and take some detailed notes, hopefully I get this rare chance again.

Most grateful indeed. A sacred brew worthy of sacred appreciation given this rare opportunity.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,128 ratings.
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