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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
2,159 Ratings
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
Belgium
sintsixtus.be

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
(Blue Cap)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-03-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,159
Reviews:
819
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
8.04%
 
 
Wants:
1,432
Gots:
446
For Trade:
26
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Ratings: 2,159 |  Reviews: 819
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Photo of jegross2
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Trappist Westvleteren 8 (aka Westy 8) from the monks of Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) out of Belgium.
Score: 97

"Best by" 11/30/14 according to the bottle cap. Served in a Westy 12 chalice and enjoyed on 09/17/12.

Appearance: Pours a chocolate color with some yellowish-brown color atop and mild ruby highlights at the bottom. There is excellent color depth and fade to the body of this beer, which wine aficionados should appreciate.. Pours a half finger of tan head that settles to a thin layer. Good lacing and average retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Slighty "fruity" yeast, caramel, figs and apples and a little chocolate. Some spice, a "nutty" maltiness, and a hint of brown sugar. Just a hint of alcohol esters too. 4.5/5

Taste: Figs, musty caramel malt and a hint of raw cocoa bean flavor. There is a smooth weizenbock-like banana-y yeast flavor on the center of the tongue throughout, and it lightly lingers. Unlike what the nose hints, there is no "fruitiness" to the taste really -- maybe faintly as the beer warms up. Instead, there is a dried dark fruit flavor here -- primarily figs, but a little date flavor too. Westy 8 beer is not sweet at all -- instead, it is possesses a very balanced, nuanced and drinkable maltiness. There's a very faint alcohol warmth on the sides of tongue, but no boozy flavor whatsoever. What an incredibly and carefully crafted beer! I am sure there are plenty of nuances that I just cannot pick out here. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied, and perfectly carbonated. Very creamy, slick mouthfeel. Malty, but balanced. 5/5

Overall: Easily my favorite dubbel. Call me crazy, but, at least relatively fresh, I prefer this one to Westy 12. This is such an amazing malt-dominant beer that has so much subtle complexity. I wish I had a consistent line on this stuff, cause believe me, there would always be a few of these in my fridge.

Recommendation: Seek this one out. It's at least as good as Westy 12, but without all the fanfare.

Pairings: The Mustard Seed Cafe's harvest panini (a turkey sandwich on zucchini bread with provolone cheese, slices of apples and cranberry sauce).

Cost: $12 for a 11.2 oz bottle.

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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Westvleteren Glass at the Abbey cafe on 9/8/12 - not sure when bottled or any of that. Pours a deep chocolate brownie looking brown, with slight tan rim. Superb fruity yeast aromas. Taste is really just amazing...chocolatey, dried fruit and some spice/vanilla maybe. Super smooth and just all around amazing. Although the Abbey was so over commercialized, its still worth the visit to try them at the source. Obviously, go out of your way for this...because there really isnt any other choice!

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look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from that distinctive Westy bottle into a Westvleteren chalice.

Westvleteren 8 pours a dense walnut brown color with a slight cranberry tint. A creamy tan head forms gently on top with the initial pour. There was a lot of sediment in the bottom of the bottle, to the point where it was difficult not to pour it in.

Caramel malt, figs, dates, overripe red apples, brandy, and cinnamon gust up my nose.

The flavor is more of the same. The flavor is not as sweet as I would expect, though. There is a bit of caramel up front providing a slightly sweet base, but the fig, date, red apple, cinnamon, and all spice do not provide enough sweetness to overcome the boozy brandy that comes through. There is great integration of the flavors - a sign of long-perfected brewing processes.

The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect, for the style or otherwise. The body is on the full side of medium, representing the 8% ABV quite accurately. Each sip has a foamy, creamy carbonation with just a bit of a crisp, tingly bite to it to help ease the flavors down the tongue to reset after each sip. Very smooth.

This is a wonderfully balanced and drinkable beer. I am glad I finally cracked my bottle.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,159 ratings.
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