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

797 Reviews
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium | website

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: 797 | Ratings: 2,049
Photo of kitch
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 330ml bottle with a sell-by date that has unfortunately rubbed off. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.

Appearance: It poured a dark brown colour with some small sediment bits despite a careful pour. There was a one finger beige head that had pretty good retention and eventually settled to a nice thin but puffy cap and nice curtain like lacing.

Aroma: Strong dark fruits of plum, prunes, raisin, fig with hints of dark cherry and toffee.

Taste: Like the aroma, there is lots of dark fruit with raisin, dark cherry and prunes dominating. There’s also some plum, fig, brown sugar and a touch of alcohol that’s not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: It’s a very nice Dubbel. Great dark fruit flavours and very balanced. Interestingly though, after trying both many times, I am still leaning towards enjoying Westmalle Dubbel just that slight bit more.

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Photo of rex_4539
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown/red color, huge 5-6 finger off-white head, extremely high carbonation.

S: Nice aroma, raisins, fig.

T: Good taste but nothing even close to Westvleteren 12. Extremely high carbonation so good idea is to let the beer in the glass for a few minutes to "calm down". Then tastes ten times better :)

F: Carbonation, carbonation, carbonation.

O: A very good beer after it "calms down" from extreme carbonation. Would happily have it again.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 330 mL bottle into a chalice at the abbey cafe, dark red brown with a short white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: lighter smells of dark fruit, raisins, figs, dark bread

T: sweeter and less intense than 12, figs, raisins, dark fruits, yeast

M: full bodied and slightly creamy

O: more approachable than 12 with similar flavors but less intense

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Photo of Dactrius
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Unintentionally sat on this and now it's over 4 years old. I know Westy ages well but my hopes aren't super high for this one. Beautiful head and lacing. I'm choosing not to dock the look score for the massive quantity of large, dark chunks floating around in the beer which I assume are just due to the aging. Smell and taste are both world class, I can't think of better dubbel. Besides the appearance it's hard to believe this is 4 years old, there isn't any noticeable oxidization and everything still tastes similar to what I'd expect it to taste like fresh. Exceeded my high expectations.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Grabbed one of these bad boys while waking around Belguim summer 2015 and fell in love. This was the most impressive beer I drank in all of Europe. The secondary stores you can buy them from mark it up 400% but it was worth it. Found it @ a bar in Ghent for less and drank every bottle they had. Enjoyed it more than the XII. Seek this beer out, sell your 1st born of one, it's worth it.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Poured a somewhat opaque brown hue. Aroma has prominent notes of dark fruit, banana, caramel, molasses, and cola. The flavor presents much of the same but 8's golden triumph (like the rest of the Westy beers) is its ability to balance sweetness and dryness. It doesn't leave that lingering sweetness that often bothers my palate. Alcohol is very soft as is the mouthfeel. My least favorite of the three but still the best Dubbel I have ever had.

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Photo of hophugger
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My first Westvleteren and it lives up to its hype. Beautiful medium brown color with ruby hues, average head and plenty of carbonation. This bottle is approx. 7 months old, by the way. Aroma and taste is very complex with lots of raisins, prunes, figs, honey, yeast, cherries, brandy, candy and apples coming through. Balance is amazing and finish is nice, with a spicy, dryness. Extremely nice Belgian dubbel !!

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Photo of Catracho5
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian stemmed glass

A: Pours dark brown with a tan colored head, head is full, creamy, pillowy, good head retention, some slight lacing, good amount of carbonation streaming up the side, looks really good.

A: Raisins, figs, burnt brown sugar, caramel, toffee, Belgian yeast, very aromatic and pungent, very nice.

T: Like the nose, dark fruits like raisins and figs, burnt brown sugar, Belgian yeast, bread, biscuits, malts, lots of flavors, no alcohol on the taste, very smooth, balanced.

M: Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation, semi-dry finish, creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

O: My second Westvleteren beer and the consistency is really apparent, they brew some quality beers, very tasty, these beers have been worth the money I spent to get them over.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An incredibly weak sister of the XII, this way too carbonated beer has a lovely nose and strong bread flavour. But it is nowhere in the same ballpark to XII. Skip if you can.

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Photo of amano_h
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl pour at Cafe In de Vrede (Westvleteren, Belgium)

Raisins, dark caramel, molasses, burnt sugar, and a hint of fig on the first whiff. Unlike the XII, the alcohol is actually present on the aroma, but not in an unpleasant way. Clove, cherries, and fruity esters surface on the back end and become more pronounced with time and temperature.

Candi sugar leads the charge, followed closely by raisins and dark fruits on the palate. The booze kind of lets off an astringent peppery sensation, which again, isn't unpleasant in any way. The clove and an apple-like after taste lingers with each sip, with the dark fruits kind of fading away as you let it sit.

Medium body and moderately effervescent. Boozy but not hot to the touch, like you'd expect from a classic dubbel.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had many Westvleteren no 8 and no 12 and they are more than delicious. Pleasant aroma, taste of raisin bread, dark fruits, some banana, creamy yet light, smooth, no alcohol taste.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/27/15, review from notes

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for the share and big thanks to BigRedDog for throwing this in as an extra

A: Dark amber to reddish brown - murky and cloudy - pours with a creamy, fluffy, with a light tan head - large to start, fades to medium, retains a cap forever - leaves webs and streaks of lacing

S: Remarkably fruity and bready, more or less could pass for a bread with dart fruit (raisin bread, maybe) - caramel malts, dark caramel, caramelized malts, molasses, brown sugar, raw sugar - an array of dark fruits, raisins, figs, and plums - again, raisin bread - Belgian yeast, clove, banana, some musty funk - candi sugar sweetness - mostly well-rounded, not a ton of booze

T: Like drinking a holiday bread - Belgian yeast flavors, pepper, yeasty funk, clove, banana, green apple - dark fruits, grapes, raisins, figs, plums - caramel and amber malts - light and dark bread with a touch of biscuit - honey, molasses, dark caramel, candi sugar - touch of alcohol to round things out

M: On the heavy side of medium, super smooth, creamy, clean

O: Magic bread smoothie

I've been dying to try this beer for years, but apparently I was too lazy to actually trade for it. This is a supreme example of a Dubbel. It's not substantially better than more common examples of the style (Westmalle Trappist Dubbel, for example), but it's definitely special. I'm glad to have had the opportunity.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to BigRedDog for the insane extra. Split with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a slight chill haze. Head is a soft medium khaki with an initial super fluffy and creamy cap. Drops to a small fizzy cap that leaves a few wisps after a few minutes. Minimal lacing, Moderate to high carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Typical dark fruit. Raisin, cherry, and some fig. Moderately aggressive alcohol. Slightly sharp and spicy. Some solid caramelized malt sweetness. a touch of brown bread. Hints of clove and stone. Boozy raisin and cherry. Some mild fruity esters as well. Incredibly balanced and soft.

Taste: Brown sugar and candi sugar right up front. Gives way to a ton of raisin and dark cherry. Some fig and plum. Solidly fruity. Alcohol throws a ton of associated peppery character with some strong yeast esters. Soft apple character with some mild hints of clove. Warming throws even more alcohol. Some of the dark fruit drops out and lets the peppery character of the yeast and alcohol slide over the top. Hyper true to style if a bit aggressive with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy on the initial sip with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Clean and ever so slightly almost crisp.

Overall: Yup, it's a winner.

The biggest issue with this beer is the overpresence of the alcohol. Outside of that it's immaculately crafted and easy drinking.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drinking this while at In De Vrede on 9/12/15. Well, i actually might like this more than Westy 12. Body is a much lighter color than 12, but still a nice dark caramel color. What I really like about it though is the big malted barley aroma I’m getting. Also nice fresh hop smell. Taste, this beer is very balanced. Caramel malts meld perfectly with the slightly bitter hops. Not my favorite beer of all time, but probably what I would call the perfect beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 aged in a cellar

Spritzy and sharp it delivers a lot of candied fruit and sugary fructose. Raisins, cotton candy, cherry cough syrup, black licorice, Pez candies and a bit of sassafras or Heather. May just not be my style.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a chalice style glass. Pours a dark brown with a finger of head. The smells are very complex with a combination of stone fruit, vanilla, and nuts. Taste just as complex and very balanced. It is no 12 but a great beer as well

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Photo of Brewhemoth
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 330ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with a one finger beige head. Good head retention and some lacing. There are a number of floaties.
S: Sweet rich malt, an almost nut-like character, some vanilla, toffee, and some dark fruits (mostly raisin). Super complex.
T: Sweet malt first, then some dark fruits and yeast character - spicey. It has a slight woody flavor as well.
M: Very smooth. Medium-light body, with medium level of carbonation, a little higher than i expected. Coats the mouth nicely. Does a very good job of hiding that 8% ABV

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Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer. Extremely complex. Sweet but still has a nice little surprising hop taste to it. The feel of this beer is excellent and every part of this beer lives up to its reputation. I highly recommend it if you can get it.

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Photo of mschantz
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from bottle picked up in BE fall of 2014. Pours a beautiful rich murky chestnut brown with a finger of head that quickly dissipates. Nose is sweet with caramel and rich malt but a bit of phenol. Taste is quite sweet with raisin, caramel and a bit of booze. Still tasting pretty solid but probably sat on this beer a bit too long.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the best Belgian dubbel on the market hands down. So well balanced with tons of sweet dark fruits on the finish. It has everything you want in a traditional dubbel with perfect carbonation.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at the Westvleteren Abbey and it's been resting in my cellar ever since. Cap date of 12-05-13. Murky mahogany brown pour with a two finger beige head with nice retention and great lacing. Somewhat subdued nose with hints of brown bread, dark fruit, subtle vanilla, rust, and toffee. The taste is much bolder than the nose suggested, with hints of almond, dark fruits, vanilla, brown bread, subtle cocoa, molasses, and cloves. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation, nice balance, and good drinkability. Overall, this has held up really well in the cellar, and I think it's actually improved. No signs of oxidation at all, and hugely drinkable. Definitely giving the 12 a run for its money!

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Photo of treznor
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had fresh Westvleteren 8, 10, and 12 at the Westvleteren Cafe. 8 is probably better than the 12 at the moment. However, the 12 will keep getting better and don't think the 8 will get much better than it is right now.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very pleasant Belgian dubbel, which came into its own as it warmed. Nose was a touch subdued but, to use the word again, pleasant. Palate opened up as it went, lots of fruity esters and smacks of Belgian yeast. Tasty, though not earth-shattering.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to snaotheus for bringing this back from his trip to Belgium! Poured into a chalice from a 12 oz bottle.

Color is dark brown with an enormous fluffy tan head. Minimal lacing and retention. Aroma is dark fruit and Belgian yeasts. Flavor is classic Belgian with dark fruit and banana. Lots of complexity - some toffee and spices. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Overall, an excellent dubbel.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle in Café De Spuyt, Amsterdam (€13.50):
Another absolutely amazing beer from Westvleteren, they're two for two now & I'll hopefully get to try the third beer in the roster sometime in the near future to find out if they can manage the clean sweep. This one was quite a sweet beer with a lot of dark fruits & caramel but the balance remained great & it was a pleasure to drink with a nice alcohol kick giving the beer a warming feel towards the end; excellent stuff.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
99 out of 100 based on 797 ratings.
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