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 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 BeerSamurai34
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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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a tiny hotel glass in Brussels. Date on the cap is 30.10.17.

Pours dark brown with a huge head that fades fast and leaves a thin layer. Pretty strongly carbonated.

Smell is dark fruit and plum. Somewhat mild.

Taste is lighter than Westvleteren 12 -- bitterer. Similar taste profile, though. Like a light Westvleteren 12. Maybe more of a burnt sugar flavor.

Mouthfeel is light and pleasant. Overall, very good.

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

A great soft, complicated and balanced aroma! Very rich taste that becomes different with every next sip. Soft alcoholness and kind hop bitterness. A very long nutty aftertaste that becomes fruity at the end. Amazing beer!

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Photo of Duff27
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dated 10.09.13 which makes this about 4.5 years old. Thanks @digita7693

Lots of sediment. Beige cap and collar on a murky brownish red colored body.

Aroma of figs and raisins. Perhaps some brown sugar.

Taste is muted when compared to the nose. Slight dark fruitiness. Signs of oxidation.

Smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Enjoyed this one although I probably held on to it too long. Glad to try.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer makes me happy. I was lucky enough to get two cases at the abbey, and have tried a few fresh and am letting the bulk age. This is a wonderfully complex beer. The nose and taste have layers of flavor including expresso, burnt caramel, dried fruit, great yeast notes, and others. Nice long finish. It is hard to deny the challenge of getting this in the first place adds to the feeling when you drink it as well. After tasting the 12 as well, i agree with many other that this is a more drinkable cousin. I have no issue saying this is the best dubbel out there. Thank God I have more.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown in color with a moderate amount of carbonation bubbles. A fingernail of khaki head surrounds the rim and forms a circle in the middle of the chalice. Aroma is of dates, chestnuts, and dark candy sugar. The taste is dark malt and dark candy sugar. The mouth is moderately carbonated and that in turn prickles your tongue, it is also dry and warming to your throat.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Raison colored pour with a very thick, creamy toffee colored head.

S - Vanilla, dark fruit, dark candy sugar, and some cherries.

T - Sweet Belgian caramel, spice, light cloves, bready, yeasty, and with light cherry undertones.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation, slightly sticky.

O - This was a pretty old bottle in review.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Murky reddish brown. Big off white head. Thick collar

Smell - Pecan nuttiness when it's cold. Much fruitier as it warms. Yeasty. Kinda phenolic.

Taste - Very yeasty up front. Nutty as the yeast dies down. Some brown caramel malt. Light chocolate. Finish is clove spiciness. Aggressive hop flavor through, kinda grassy and bitter.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Not a style I love, but it's really well made.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage into Westy chalice.

Appearance is about as perfect as it gets for the style. Nice fluffy tan head, deep mahogany colored, and a gorgeous clear body giving the impression of a deep colored jewel.

Aroma is a bit subdued compared to say the Rochefort 8. But you get those lovely rum raisin, fig, date, and gooey dark caramel notes so prized in the trappist darks.

Taste is downright seductive. The dark fruits are very dry, you get some Caribbean Rum, soft cocoa powder, grade B maple syrup, Palo Santo wood, and hints of sherry. Such a tasty treat and not as sweet in nature as others.

Mouthfeel sports a body in the light range but the fluffy carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier. That same fluffy carbonation gives the beer a creaminess that is what elevates this to a world class mouthfeel. Just silky and glides through the plate. So dangerously smooth.

This is outstanding. The more I drink this and Westy 12 I am convinced that they reign along with Rochefort in the trappist ale category. As well as the belgian dark category in general. Beer brewed with passion, get some.

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Photo of aleigator
3.9/5  rDev -12.9%

Big fluffy head, with a cherry-brown color.

Aromas are defined by chocolate, malts, toffee and hints of coffee.

Very warm, alcoholic, malty beginning with plums and raisins. Fitting carbonation, helping the beer from becoming too heavy. Malt, in comparison to other Brunes, isn’t too sweet, gets mixed up with an enjoyable, spicy bitterness. Earthy, bready and warm malts define this beer, wrapped up in honey, as the beer warms up. Great balance, decent complexity, smooth mouthfeel, medium body.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.03/5  rDev -10%

Bottle purchased in Bruges and poured safely back home in Florida. Pours murky dark brownish purple with a massive light khaki head that sticks around. Aroma is dry funky barnyard yeast, surprisingly grassy, light spices, with low sweetness on the nose but for some raisins and figs. Flavor begins with a punch of sweet figs and pears and raisins balanced by a crisp grassy hop finish. Plenty of dry barnyard funk here from the yeast. Medium bodied but lightened up considerably by the high carbonation, crisp, with a dry finish. Definitely lighter than its 12 counterpart. Overall a very nice brew but maybe not quite living up to the considerable price tag. Worth trying, but don't kill yourself over it.

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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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