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

2,176 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,176 |  Reviews: 824
Photo of jcalabre
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled sometime in the last year or two. I am writing this review from my notes.
Oh, those mad monks...
This pours Dark brown w/ a huge head. This beer is very Malty w/ flavors of raisin & warmth. It finishes very sweetly. You can't go wrong with any of the Westy beers

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is a perfect ruddy brown, eggplantish, edging on violet, lovely, rich and full color, and the head is large, slowly to simmer down, off-whitish.

Aroma : good Lord, it's perfect, rich and raisiny, strong, spicy, very lively, ...what are they mixing in those monasteries? It's a magical bouquet, is what I say!Oh,to sniff it anew is another pleasure, and now, I can't hold back, it's time to drink the damned thing!

I've raved about the works of the brothers of St. Sixtus before, but GOOD GOD JESUS!!! This is mystifying, uplifting, magical, amazing! Can I be more specific? No...Energizing is the best adjective, the beer is so lively it makes everything it comes in contact with livelier!

This apparently belongs to the style "Belgian Abbey Dubbel", but on consuming 1/2 of one small bottle, I know now that this beer puts all the others to shame! There is fruit, and dazzling hops, and malt, and tantalizing texture, but the thing that sets this apart, if there is such a thing, is unknowable.
I had a Belgian Abbey Dubbel tonight from a very reputable source, and it was nice, but not magical.
This ..this transports ones senses to new realms, higher planes of appreciation! If I'm getting lofty, forgive me, please, but know that every word is true..I don't know how they do what they do, but they do! This is the ultimate!
I'm joining the cloister, too, if means getting close to beer this fine and lovely!
Here's to all the monks, toiling for our sins, and crafting this exceptional, gorgeous, transcendental work!

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

Similar to its big brother, Westvleteren 12, Number 8 pours a cloudy mahogany huge with a monster head that subsides after a minute or so in the chalice glass. Smell is diverse with notes of heavy malt, yeast, apricots, and mild alcohol. This is a very tasty beer -- notes of raisins, sweet malt, very subdued hops, yeast, and alcohol are all there. Mouthfeel is superbly smooth and while easy to drink, it's a bit too rich to deserve a perfect score. This is a masterful brew, and I actually prefer it to its big brother, Number 12.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/brown with a ton of carbonation and a massive light tan head. Out of this large head bellows the aromas of fruit, spices, and yeast that make the mouth water. The nice blend of flavors is a repeat of the smell but with more complexity. There is a wave of flavors consisting of lightly sweetened fruit, faint yeast and an array of spices and a calmly warming alcohol. This is a light to medium bodied brew and drinks down way too easy! Op uw gezonheid!

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Photo of clvand0
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours the cloudy brown that I've become accustomed to with excellent Belgian beers. This one has quite a bit more head than the Rocheforts and the Westy 12. The aroma is great - smells of fruits with an undertone of alcohol. The taste is wonderfully smooth - must like the Westy12, but the taste reminds me a lot of the Rochefort 8. This is one of the best beers I've had along with the others mentioned above. If you've not had this, it's worth the high price. It leaves a great fruity taste on the palate after drinking. I could drink this beer all night if it weren't so expensive.

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Photo of Boto
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Westy. It was absolutely superb! I love the caramel and fruit tastes and aroma. This may be the priciest beer that I have bought, but it is an exceptional treat. It even caused me to fork over $180.00 for a mixed full case to be shipped from Belgium of the 12, 8 and blonde. Truly nirvana!

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Photo of MJR
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Westvleteren brew...I've been looking forward to this!

Appearance: Into my Westy chalice, it pours a beautiful reddish-brown, mahogany color with a touch of haze. The head starts around an inch thick and sticks like a champ. Fantastic lacing on the glass.

Smell: Damn...what an aroma! As complex and fruity as anything I've ever encountered, this brew has toffee, grape, fig, raison, and plum simply jumping out of the glass. There's also a light spicy note in there, as well as a bit of a phenolic character. Adding the portion at the bottom of the bottle imparts a bready character from the yeast.

Taste: Amazing rich and smooth with tons of fruitiness. All of the characteristics of the aroma are here: toffee, fig, raison, plum, and grape. Very sweet, with a nice kick of spiciness towards the end. I taste a phenolic flavor, but it's in the background. There's a touch of bready and yeasty flavors towards the end of the bottle, from the slight sediment. Finishes creamy and warming with an alcohol note. Great integration of flavors, as the balance between them is incredible.

Mouthfeel: Medium in thickness, with a smooth mouthfeel. Very creamy and round on the palate. There's a touch of alcohol dryness on the swallow.

Drinkability: Damn good, if you can find it! This brew isn't available in my area, so this is quite the treat. I could drink a few of these over the course of a night, sipping slowly and enjoying every drop. I actually prefer this over the more well-known and stunning Abt 12.

A huge 'thank you' goes out to StevieW for including this heavenly brew in our trade.

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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 Brent
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful brownish-bronze color. Moderate head with vigorous carbonation bubbles streaming up. Aroma hits you from a foot away - dark and sweet. Without a doubt the cleanest and most crisp Belgian I've come across. The malty goodness races across your tongue so fast that you want to grab it and hold on to savor. Slightly tart at the front and amazingly dry. Glides away at the finish with just enough bitterness. Drinkability factor is off the scale.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The difference between this and the 12 is quite easy to see after just the first sip. This is a great brew, but the 12 is head and shoulders above it.

The brew looks absolutely beautiful in my goblet. A deep, dark amber color with a tight head that retains very well. Yeasty, spicy nose with some dark fruits and light chocolate. Smells very similar to the 12, but with less alcohol in the nose.

I know I keep comparing this to the 12...but I have to. This seems to have more of a warming alcohol presence, despite the significantly lower ABV. The alcohol is prevalent at the end of each sip, however, I was a bit disappointed in the complexity. I want more. Compared to other brews though, this is a hell of a brew. A mild hoppiness blends well with the fruity and spicy flavors. When cold though, there is little flavor to this brew. Definitely must let it warm to truly appreciate it. 8 is great...but its no 12!

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Photo of HopheadEd
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer a week ago and knew this had to be my 100th. This is without a doubt the best Dubbel I have had. A dark brown, almost reddish color with an unbelievable head that needs to settle before tasting; not an easy feat. Sticky lace on the glass just adds to the experience. Dark fruits, plums, raisins, black cherries, dominate the aromas. The same smells are dominate in the taste, as well as some bready yeast, which adds to the mystique. Unbelievably smooth carbonation, high yet drinkable. Creamy, silky mouthfeel, easy going down, very, very drinkable. I mentioned this as a quest, now the 12 is on my short list. Excellent beer.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours to a very dark brown like charred wood. It is topped by a massive off-white foam that wants to stay for a long time without paying rent, and leave a lot behind after it dies to a lace. When you pour the whole bottom of the bottle, there is a dark blob of sediment in the middle of the head that is kind of scary looking, but the flavor was not affected in a negative way by the addition of the full contents of the bottle.

The sweet cherries and raspberries get to you first. Other aromas that come are wheat bread, coffee, and a little bit of chocolate. Yeast is also present, especially after you pour the entire bottle into the glass. I chose a goblet for this one, and I found it to be to be a good choice because I was able to pick up a lot of the aroma with a bit of swirling.

The sweetness in the aroma is not nearly as strong as it is in the aroma. Most of the flavor is dominated by roasty flavors of toast and coffee. The alcohol is present, but it is not overpowering at all.

The body is very rich. It is very crisp, and it has a bite that stays with you right till the end.

This is another great Westy. A complex brew that would appeal to anyone.

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Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33cl brown bottle with no freshness date to be found, thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle gets stirred up a bit from the initial push of carbonation.

Appearance: Tons of tiny bubbles burning a path through the dark and tawny brew, some of the sediment made its way into the glass as it was lifted by the carbonation in the bottle. Those bubbles hold a very solid cream coloured lace together.

Smell: Sweet tart granny smith apple, soft herbal phenols and bready malt with a yeast backing make up the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Stiff crispness holds its own up against the creamy and thickly layered medium body. Big expressive bitterness from some hops but more of a tangled yeast, herbal phenol and spiced bitter flavour. Fruitiness gets juicy in the middle with some tag along alcoholic esters. Good foundation of malt that leaves nothing untouched as it unravels flavours of whole grain bread, faint molasses, toasted grains and a light dry husk in the end.

Drinkability & Notes: A big thumbs up from me, more than just a noteworthy brew. Beer like this makes the big picture of good beer that much more clear. An addictive sipping style brew.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

IMHO this beer is a little bit better than its big brother, Westie 12! Although it seems that many people disagree with me, well maybe Todd agrees with me on this one. This beer poured a dark red, amber-ish brown colour with a nice fluffy head which stayed around for quite awhile. This smelled wonderful...Bready, Biscuity, Malty, and Chewy...a near-perfect combination of complex flavours and flavor notes! This tasted just as good as it's nose indicated it would taste. This beer had many wonderful complex flavors which were all combined and tightly and neatly wrapped up into one great package! This beer had a very velvetty mouthfeel but it was not as nice as the mouthfeel on the Westie 12. The drinkability for this beer is quite good, but it is a trappist ale, so if you drink more than a few of these you will be thrown for quite a loop. A great beer which you should purchase if and when you see it. One of the best trappist beers made, if not the best IMO.

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

This brew pours a rich amber color with a creamy fluffy head that last for a while leaving a sexy lace behind. The smell of hops and malt are very strong to the nose. Earthy fruity esters are also present to the nose. The first sip bring great joy to the palate, and malty yet strong hop flavor is nice along with a citrus tart. This is a great brew and I will soon have the #12 to see what all the hype is about.


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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hard to describe the taste. Very unlike any other Belgian beers I have tried. Somewhat malty, dark and fruity, but without the liveliness and spice of some other Belgian beers. Some lace, head disappeared rather quickly. I found this to be very interesting initially, but it just seemed somewhat "off" to me. I would love to try the 12, and will when I find it. Re-review - (Forgive me, I knew not what I was saying. I finally had this again, and it was sublime. Deep, dark, fruity, I wish I had two! Right up there with the Westmalle as the best dubbel I've had. I can't wait to compare them head to head). P.S.S.! I did a head to head with Westmalle and Loterbol. This blew them away. Fantastic! As good as any beer in the world.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown bier, with no transluscence at all. There were a few bits of particulate hovering around in the dark as well. The head was initially a big, tan, frothy sucker! After a short span of time it shrank down to a fine, thin layer, with acceptable sheets of lacing. Nose was quite rich and enticing, with plenty of dark fruit aromas emanating from the glass! West-V 8 has a medium body, and a slight effervescence on the tongue. Flavor is comprised of dark fruit flavors, some mild yeastiness and a slight hint of chocolate lying underneath the aforementioned flavors. Finish is slightly dry, with a fairly long-lasting, and pleasant, aftertaste. Nice bier. I can feel the warmth in my belly, as well! Prosit!!

overall: 4.35
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5


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

Pours a cloudy reddish-brown color, huge thick foamy head. Sweet sugary candy aroma, flavors of caremel toffee and butter, perfect thick and creamy mouthfeel, smooth and silky, It don't get any better than this, well maybe the 12.

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Photo of marc77
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark ruby in hue, topped by an off white, creamy, stiff head with typically excellent retention. A fragrant waft of floral, perfume like, rosy sweetness upfront in aroma, followed by a richer melange of dry, powered cocoa, and, raisin like dark caramel Special B. Yeast derived fruitiness aromawise is mild, but is perceptibly acidic, tropical, and slightly citric in nature. Flavorwise, the initial honey like sweetness fades slightly, then allows a complex melange of biscuity malt, oak and rich carob to envelope the palate. Pleasantly minerally, slightly salty notes and dry, spicy black pepper lend a pseudo savory mid palate impression. Mellow phenol complements malt sweetness well, lending a clove laced molasses undertone. Moderate in body, with an agreeably smooth and deceivingly light mouthfeel. Finishes w/ notes of black licorice and brown sugar lingering. 8 is a delicious beer, with tremendous depth in character all around. It's not as assertive in outright yeast derived flavor contributions compared to other Dubbels, yet the malt profile is tremendously complex and refined. It's worth the price... a true treat.

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Photo of mophie
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. God is in the details (and I am not a religious man), but something divine is going on in this beer. Deep brown with hints of copper coming through, and a huge, rocky tan head. The first smell is unmistakably Belgian yeast, with dark fruits, some chocolate, fresh baked cinnamon-raisin bread. Flavors of dates, grapes, pepper, again fresh baked cinnamon-raisin bread. Sweet and spicy. Spice lingers on the tongue for quite some time, reminding you of the divine craftsmanship of these monks. Heavenly.

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Photo of Gusler
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nebulous deep black cherry color, ponderous somewhat frothy beige head, and thick lace to cling mightily to the glass, also a "Bazillion tiny bubbles, sliding their little butts up the glass". Not many beers have a better nose, malt, banana, slight yeasty or bread dough if you prefer, over ripe fruit, just makes your mouth water smelling this wonderful beer. Sweet start, light to the top, finish is merciful in its acidity, potently hopped, droughty long lasting aftertaste. A fine cousin to the "12, 10" and well worth the try!

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Photo of frank4sail
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nutty nose with a hint of sweetness. Deep manogany hazy color. White lasting head. Smooth malty feel (milkshake). Nutty (hazel?) rich malty flavor. Medium body. Slight fruity (yeast) grapefruit finish. This beer just screams quality and craftmanship. If you see it buy it.. you won't be sorry.

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

When you pour it, it sounds like a cola with its fizzy, lively head. Bubbles steam up the sides, again much like a coke, but with this beer, the head stays, but forms an odd concave surface as the middle starts to fade, but the outside stay much the same, reinforced by the constant bubbling. Head lacks the creaminess of the 12. Initial flavor is surprisingly realistic cocoa. There was some complexity, but that was the big flavor. Not as complex or as balanced as it's big brother.

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

Deep brown in colour, with excellent lasting head, lace could have been better. One of the best aromas in any beer, fruit, plums chocolate, evem coriander or nutmeg or somethin'. Tasty stuff, sweetish, chalky, bit of pudding, bit of chocolate, bit of candy sugar, just a lighter version of the 12, dangerously easy to drink, full flavour profile aswell, quite unique, but doesn't compare to the 12.

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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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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,176 ratings.
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