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

812 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: 812 | Ratings: 2,120
Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Purchased and consumed in Brussels.
Cap date: 08.10.13

A: pours a beautiful hazelnut ale with exceptional clarity. 2 fingers of peanut skin skIn foam falls soo slow and even then leaves a wonderful stack of quilted equivalence of the same. Near sheet lacing.

S: first thought: buttered popcorn and vanilla beans. As it warms some praline, raisin come thru, but nothing to save it.

T: alcohol is very forward here. Solvent. Some graham, dark prunes, but the alcohol is very evident. Not impressed.

M: creamy as fuck. Great resonance and the finish is silken. Really like the feel here. The carbonation is immediate, passive and constant. It's really fine bubbles that create the exceptional feel.

O: not the worst dubbel I've had, where it disappoints is in the wrong places.

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Photo of cpanossian
2.91/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Visited in de Vrede at Saint Sixtus last week. The Bruin was served from a bottle into a goblet.

Clumpy creamy biege head. Dark brown body/color with light carbonation from the bottom. Large bands of biege lacing.

Thick rich sweet nut brown taste, some raison some cocoa. Almost no aroma - barely a farmhouse field aroma.

Nothing special but enjoyable in their cafe on a sunny day.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.05/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Overhyped and overrated.

A dark brown beer with a big, frothy and creamy head and lots of yeast flakes floeating around in the beer.

Smell is not very inviting, a slight oxidized smell with strong alcoholic solvent whiffs. The expected caramel is pushed back by the alcohol and is just barely tasted.

Taste is strong spiritus alcohol combined with oxidation. The yeast still leaves it's mark and gives some spicy notes, but the higher alcohols are very aromatic. The beer is leaning towards a sherry. The alcohol and slight caramellic, candisugar and woody taste give a liquor taste like sherry or whiskey. Body is sweet and sticky.

After my 3(!) disappointing tastings of this beer (fresh and from different lots) I really have to say that this beer is not one of the best in the world. OK, 1 or 2 bad beer can happen, but this taste and oxidation is just in the beer and I don't like it.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.18/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Don't get the hype.

Pours a murky brown in color. Nearly flat. Lots of bubbles clinging to the bottom of the goblet but none of them rising to the top. Slight ring of foam around the edges of the glass. Little dark blobs of yeast towards the bottom that sneaked past my careful pour.

All the flavors come across as flat and lifeless. There is a cherry and grape flavor but very subdued. Caramel and molasses too--but like they've been in the cupboard for years. Brown sugar, but as if it was mixed and diluted with water. Medium body with some slight heat from the alcohol. Kind of tangy. Alright for what it is, but not sure I understand how it has scored so high.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.23/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got from Belgium Shoppe earlier this year and have been aging it for special occasion so opened for birthday and 250th review. Poured from a 33cl bottle with 26.08.09 on the cap. It was a dark ruby color with lots of yeast bits. It had a small head that quickly dissipated. The smell was sweet malts and dark fruits. Not very strong. The taste was even weaker - almost watered down. It didn't really have any dominant traits and for a dubbel was surprisingly bland. Really had no bite at all. Maybe something happened to it during shipping but this one is definitely overhyped and not worth the high scores. I got the 12 in the same shipment and it was really good so surprised by how bland this one was. Will try again during my trip to Belgium next year just to be sure but for now won't be ordering any overseas again. (3, NA, Tie, N)

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from Inaugural Issue of Beeradvocate Magazine.

Four-year-old bottle--a gift from a friend. Poured into a silver-rimmed Westvleteren chalice, a nearly opaque, dark, rusty brown, with shimmering ruby hues, a tightly-laced creamy beige head atop, and a settled, healthy, ringed lace. Toffee in the nose, along with a suggestion of dates. On the palate, very dry up front, and incredibly complex beneath. Powdery malts, dextriny notes of carob, honey, and a spike of sherry. Similar malted milky sweetness profile found in the Blonde, but with more depth. Soft prune, date sugar, hint of anise, slightly roasty around the edges, carob and a brush of toffee. Light phenols, herbal. Slightly fumy alcohol on the breath. Dry, powdery finish.

Westvleteren 8 is fine aged, but it's become a bit too dry and muted for our liking. Delicious fresh, and arguably better than Westvleteren 12 in drinkability.

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Photo of Floydster
3.33/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Ebay for about twenty dollars, not even close to being worth the money in my opinion, I hope Westvleteren 12 is better because this one did not live up to all its hype

Best before date of August 2008, but could have probably gone for much longer if I left it in the cellar

Poured into my Trappist Westvleteren chalice with a deep brown color that had a dark red tint when held up to the light, the head was white and lumpy, and over an inch which was impressive, left chunky lacing, expected this one to be darker and have a fuller body

Smell was fig, roasted malt, some roasted nut and barley, apple, and , definitely seemed oxidized, so maybe I did not have a good bottle of this stuff, pretty weak aroma overall and just seemed generic of a dubbel

Taste was decent but nothing to get all excited about, definitely got better as it warmed, wish I would have drank this at room temperature originally, got much easier to drink as it got warmer as more sweetness came out, surprisingly hoppy and left a dry and bitter aftertaste at the beginning, some nice apple and dark fruit at the end of the glass, reminded me of a nut brown ale when its temperature was cool, could taste small amounts of licorice and sweet cherries, this one could have used some more sweet malt unfortunately, wish it had more complexity which I expected, pretty good taste when it is all said and done but certainly not the best trappist or dubbel out on the market

Not much carbonation and the body was nothing to brag about, average mouthfeel with a taste that did not linger around too long

At eight percent, it is pretty drinkable, but it does get heavy at times and the taste gets old after a while, not bad for a beer of this style though, could drink two or three bottles of this with no problems

This was the first beer I have drank and said to myself that it was way overhyped, I understand the beer's rarity, but there is harder to find beers out there, this is actually quite easy to get now in online auctions, I much rather drink a Rochefort or St. Bernardus, especially for the amount of money you have to fork out to get one of these, it is a good beer but does not deserve to be in the top five in my honest opinion, will try this again in the future to see if I just had a bad batch, and will update my review if anything changes, other than that I recommend it if you are extremely curious like I was, but you will most likely leave disappointed

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.35/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $27.99 for an 11.2 oz beer from Perry's Liquor in Livermore, CA. This is the last of the Westy line that I've tasted and my estimates put this beer as being about half a year in age. I pour into a chalice to review.

Watchout this one is a mild gusher. Have your glass ready immediately! Very fizzy and carbonated, it leaves a half inch off light beige head. Dark brown raisin color. Minimal head retention. Some sheets of lacing.

Dark fruits, red grape, belgian spice and mild yeast tones in the nose. Seems to be somewhat of a simple, yet effective formula for an overall pleasant aroma.

The fruitiness from the grapes comes more to the forefront and seems to dominate the taste. Taste is sweeter than the nose suggested.

Mouth is quite fizzy and carbonated. Medium body. The high carbonaiton/fizzy mouthfeel keep this one in the sipper category for me.

Well I picked this one up because they were selling it, but I think I should have just bought another bottle of the Westy 12 which is volumes better than this brew. Either way, for me personally, the price these bottles achieve it too high. The hype and exclusivity keep the ratings high. Don't get me wrong, they are excellent Belgian beers, but a Rochefort 8 or Abt 12 is on the same caliber for 1/3 the price.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.38/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pors a hazy, dark, brown caranberry color. A thick, uniform, dark eggshell heaad sits on top.
Candi sugar and clovelike aromas.
Candi and some spice character. Maybe some hop balance in therer. Fruity with some alcohol... nothing like it's bigger brother. Slightly funny twang in the aftertaste.
Medium bodied and highly carbonated with a super dry finish. Warming for sure.
Rather unimpressed with all the hype, but it's still pretty good. The dryness makes it easy to drink despite the alcohol.

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Photo of vinny21bal
3.4/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I am sure this is a great beer just not my style and I also tried it both times pretty young. I bet I would like it a lot more with some age on it. It was fun to chase down but I will probably never do it again. This is one of those beers where I think the hype is bigger and better then the beer itself. Again I think it was made stylistically correct just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.42/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a light cream-colored head over dark hazy brown liquid with some particulate matter floating about. Nose is of raisins, a little port wine, dark fruit. Taste is quickly sweet with some phenolic character present. Then a bit of fruitiness followed by hop bitterness and an alcoholic note. Finishes more sweet than bitter. Nice, but not worth the $6 I paid for it.

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Photo of papat444
3.45/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tprokop7 for helping me knock off another holy grail. Makes a while i've been holding on to this so very happy to try it. Shared this with my wife while in the background the Thirsty Traveler was playing on TV and, you guessed it, he was visiting Belgium so kind of appropriate don't you think?

Best before Sept. 22, 2010.

Poured from their standard blank bottle (11.2 oz maybe?)

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown body with tiny flecks floating in the body. A tiny bit amber in the pour. Thick off-white/beige head, easily 3 fingers.

Smell: Fruity at first with some zest. Cloves, herbs and my wife smells rosemary also.

Taste: Big time herb presence with lots of spice and some dried fruit. The spices are a little overpowering, dry and a little rough. A little harsh, almost like eating a stem or some herbs. As it warms, it calms down a little at least and has some sherry presence but i still find it a little unbalanced for my taste. Not at all what i was expecting. Where's the malt presence & the sweetness?

Mouthfeel: Fair amount of carbonation but bitter on the palate. Again, better as it warms and a small improvement but it is still impeded by the taste.

Drinkabilty: Average, not too high. The harshness & bitterness of the herbs/spices was a little too much. I would give it another chance and it wasn't a chore to drink but wasn't a complete pleasure either.

Overall: A let down for me. A good beer but not an outstanding one from my point of view. It really felt like i was drinking liquid herbs (no other way to explain it) and really over-powered any other flavor that might have been there, not too pleasant. Still, i would like to try it again to give it another chance.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.51/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy brown color and murky with a large tan head that barely budges. Aroma is very light and has traces of ripe fruit, sweet caramel malt, and belgian sugars, a little bubble-gummy. Taste shows some of the sweet candy sugar and fruit flavor up front along with a little rich tobacco like flavor, these are cut mid taste by a small roasty twang and a decent pepperiness. There is some alcohol flavor and some tingly carbonation along with the pepper and then a decently dry finish. This beer improved vastly as it approached room temp. The aroma and taste were very subtle and only when it became fairly warm did the flavors start to come out. Still were subtle, but a nice drinkable beer, great mouthfeel.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.53/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle procured from the Struise Yeast Shop. Best by 27.01.13 indicated on the label. Pours a muddy plum color with a hazy clarity. Head was a rocky and cream-colored and half an inch in height. A couple large swaths and a few residual spots of lacing adhered to the sides of the glass during the tasting. Head was refreshed with a swirl. Big yeasty nose with a figs, prunes and a bready quality following behind. Taste follows nose; completely style consistent, but a bit dull. There's also a slightly herbal/chemical character present, probably attributable to the yeast strain. The mouthfeel kills this beer for me. Carbonation is very aggressive and the burn lingers between quaffs. Consistency is light-medium (but closer to light) and finish is semi-dry. I have to say that I was expecting a bit more from this beer. Perhaps it could stand some aging, and I will definitely procure another bottle if the opportunity presents; however, the carbonation completed detracted from the experience. It did improve slightly by gently swirling the glass to dissipate the gas, making it an almost pleasant sipper; however, I suspect it might be too young.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.53/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

blank 11.2 oz. bottle poured into a rochefort goblet.

murky maroonish brown with half an inch of tan head that falls quickly, leaving nice webs of lacing.

tart apples, dry white wine, belgian yeast and a touch of cola sweetness in the nose.

more tart, almost sour apples in the flavor. bready malts and a crisp, dry, champagne-like feel. alcohol and sour in the finish, which is a touch unpleasant. surprisingly straightforward, as i've come to expect a lot more complexity from the trappists. then again, i far prefer the rochefort 10 to the 8 or 6; maybe the westvleteren 12 will also far exceed its lesser brethren.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.56/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

31.10.10 on the cap

A- reddish brown with red highlights, off white foamy head that is very easy to generate. Liquid is clear but fairly dark.

S- grape candy. really one dimensional to me.

T- Dark grape sugar, like a grape otter pop.

M- medium in body and finishes pretty dry as well.

This beer just didn't seem to have a whole lot going on. It was sweet and it tasted like the artificial grape flavoring you get from candy. It wasn't overwhelming to make it bad, but the beer just didn't impress me a whole lot. That doesn't mean I didn't like it but it was just weird.

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Photo of pepsican
3.6/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I figured I should pop open something decent for my birthday, and I figured this would do. Pours dark brown with a thick head. Grape, caramel malt, candi sugar, and tobacco nose. Flavor was very similar, lots of dark fruits come out as well. Finish was thick, lots of stuff going on but not something I really cared for.

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Photo of ccrida
3.65/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle served in it's logo chalice at Cambrinus in Brugge, Westvleteren 8 is a murky brown with a very tight, creamy sand head leaving light lace.

Smell is soft, doughy yeast.

Taste is very smooth and balanced, very light caramel and toffee malt, some clean heat on the otherwise rapid finish. Pretty simple, it's honestly a bit bland, and disappointing. My general impression is a very yeasty beer, which reminds me of how St. Bernardus Abt 12 sometimes, but not always is. Perhaps there is similar inconsistency here, and I will be wowed by the bottles I brought home sometime in the future...

Mouthfeel is by far the best characteristic, supple, creamy and light.

Drinkability is pretty good, as it's easy to drink. On the other hand, it's not that interesting, and, in my humble opinion, unnecessarily rare and expensive.

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Photo of sheikyerbouti
3.66/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On a recent travel to Belgium, I smuggled home some Westy 8 and 12. Both of them are wonderful on tap and about 15% different in the bottle.

At In de Vrede, I tried all three Westy beers, the blonde is nothing special, the 8 is exceptional and the 12 is very good. Since most consider the 8 a double, I will rate it as such. Typically, doubles have a fairly alcoholic flavor, which the westy 8 discretely masks. Westy 8 has a fair amount of chocolate/roasty notes, while still being very light and digestible. Its aroma is extremely clean with just a hint of fruity esters. The finish is very pleasant and moderately dry, and although you know you are drinking a hefty beer, it is not overwhelming.

I find Westy 8 to be the finest offering by this Trappist Monestary and one of the best examples of the belgian double style around.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper amber...very dark...impressive white head that melts very slowly and leaves a delicious sticky lace as it melts.

Aroma is subdued buttery caramel malts...very smooth...wonderfully toasted and sweet.

Taste is toasted amber malts with a burnt characteristic that mellows into a slight hop finish. Nice double however...not as impressive as the 12 is for a quad.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blue 8 cap dated "19.11.13", if this is the best by date, 3 years from bottling, it's a little over a year old. Fond memories drinking this many years ago at Delilahs. Thanks Denise for this bottle straight from Belgium!

Into a Moinette chalice, it pours a tawny dark amber, crystal clear with rapid carbonation visible at first. Lasting veil of velvety foam, that remains for the duration of the glass.

Vinous aroma, dried fruit sweetness, yeasty doughiness.

Extremely creamy feel, medium bodied, fine carbonation. Some oxidation notes, rather bitter and oddly metallic. Some nutty malt flavors linger, bitter walnut and grassy herbs. Taste seems a bit of a letdown from what I remember years ago. Very dry and attenuated, with an overt alcohol presence. Probably won't seek out again unless it's known to be very fresh.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review from bottle at Akkurat summer of 2011

Pours a murky brown, ruby red edges with an off white creamy head. The nose is lightly nutty up front, sweet caramel, lightly toasted, cherries, light sherry and very fruity in the back. The taste is sweet, sugary caramel, roasted nuts, berry fruits in the back with slighlty paper oxidation falling off a bit in the back. Full body, syrupy feel, decent carbonation, thin in the back.

A-gushes upon opening. pours a creamy bubbly tan head that fizzles away slowly and leaves a soft creamy coating on the side of the glass. The liquid is a cloudy dark reddish copper color that doesn't really allow light to pass through. There are some lighter orange edges with light shined upon it.

S-the nose is fair in strength, light notes of darker malts, toffee and a hint of chocolate. Soft fruit sets in with notes of rum. Peaches and the nose of a screw driver. Tartness in the back.

T-the taste is similar to the nose but slightly muted. Toffee, slightly toasted malts, and notes of chocolate are up front yet subtle. Sweet soft fruits lie in the middle, again peaches with orange juice and vodka. The booziness is stronger in the taste than the nose. Hints of warming and a fair amount of tartness come in at the back with a touch of cherry. The finish does have notes of an herbal hop presence to provide a nice balance. It opens up a little as it warms with the toffee, chocolate, and cherry in the back.

M-very smooth and creamy with a good medium body. The carbonation is fair in strength and hold up the finish. Slightly crisp but still smooth.

D-this is a very tasty beer with some interesting things going on. Great mouthfeel but a little boozy in the taste compared to what I had expected with such a renowned nectar. Still extremely good!

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.69/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle poured into a goblet

A: Pours a dark brown with a finger of dense white head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Very, very mild. A bit of dark fruit and a hint of spice. This is surprisingly mild, though.

T: Still mild, but dark fruit comes out more in the flavor than it did in the aroma. The beer stays fairly dry, but balanced with prune sweetness. Spices add some complexity to the beer.

M: Medium thickness with strong carbonation. A bit prickly.

O: I'm disappointed by this. It's certainly tasty and quite balanced, but it's not mind-blowing.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is very dark brown with some garnet highlights when held to light. The head started bit and fizzy, then settled to around a quarter inch of khaki foam. My first impression of the nose is cherries. A touch of chocolaty raisins. Some dusty yeast character. Very subtle flavors here. Light cherries, banana chips, roasted nuts, raisins. Hell, lets just call this liquid trail mix. Medium body. High carbonation. Creamy. Well, this is certainly a good beer, but it aint all that.

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Photo of rabbott2
3.71/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2016 vintage drank in a snifter on 2/5/17

L-heavily carbonated, deep caramel brown, kinda thin
S-sugary malts, raisin, caramel, sweet
T-a little smoke, raisin, caramel, fig, sugary
F-thin, drinkable for sure
O-glad I got to try this one. I'm not a huge dubbel guy, but it is a very well done beer for the style.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,120 ratings.
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