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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: 2,051
Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle. Very dark ruby pour, hazy and witg a fine tan head that gives way to a thick lacing. Smells of dark fruit, dried fruit, caramel and yeast. Tastes bitter-sweet, with notes of cocoa, chocolate, dried fruit, cola. Soft mouthfeel, medium to high carbonation.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

whale status from drlovemd87, this has been a long time want. i have to say, i was more impressed by this than by the 12. not that its that much better or anything, but in the context of all quads, westy 12 was excellent but has beers. in the context of all dubbels, westy 8 stands alone at the top in my mind, in terms of quality. hazy amber color to this, dull looking really, with a fizzy off white head, not really all that impressive to look at. the nose on this is great though, its just exuding a wonderful belgian yeast strain that i can say has no equal. in combination with a sweeter malt profile, gentle candy sugar, and raisin type fruitiness, i can say that this is one incredible aromatic profile. the taste is just like the nose, very straightforward. what i like the most about this is its simplicity. not that the flavors are not complex, but this is brewing art it its purist. clean flavors, i taste the grain, i taste the sugar, burnt caramel like is how it comes through, and i taste the yeast, which may be my favorite strain going. the finish is sweet indeed, but its a pleasurable sweet and one that feels right in the mouth. expressive mouth feel, very lively and bright for the style, not weighed down by either its sugars or its alcohol strength. a really splendid beer, yeast forward, and perfectly executed. this is the standard for the style, hands down. i should also mention that i had the esteemed privilege to drink all three of these beers in one session, and the 8 was the pick for me. i am truly blessed.

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a nice dark mahogany colour with creamy looking tanned head that retains throughout.

S - Amazing malt, belgium yeasty notes including plums, raisins, cherries and sweet caramel, toffee.

T - The dark fruit really shines here along with the candied sugar, toffee, caramel, biscuit like sweet malts, cherries/figs at the back end with a gentle tartness that lingers well.

M - Creamy with medium carbonation and medium bodied

O - Well, its a great pleasure again to drink and review this beer, in particular on xmas day. Still one of my favourite beers and although I believe it is inferior to the 12 it i s still a great complex and delicious beer to consume. Highly recommend

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Photo of gr0g
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly opaque, dark mahogany color. Nice head formation with good retention. Lacing is there, but it's only spotty. Smells rich and malty but not very sweet. Dark toffee and toasted grain at first, then notes of plum and raisin.

Richly malty and only a touch sweet. Raisin and pear, maybe some ripened red grapes in there, too. Well carbonated but soft, even silky. Candi sugar is there but it's very minimal. Yeast character is present through some clove flavor.

Excellent, but not head and shoulders above others in the style as the scores would suggest. With the robust maltiness and restrained sweetness, I find that Westy 8 is quite similar to Ommegang Abbey Ale.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz, Cap date 19.11.13
Westy glass

A: Pours a hazy chestnut brown color. There is light that gets through it. Bright around the edges. Thin layer of light tan head. Mostly a collar.

S: Nice dark fruit character. Raisin. Prune. Fig. Some rum soaked raisin. Biscuity Belgian notes from the yeast.

T: This is very nice. Initially getting hints of grape juice almost. Then some of the dark fruit: raisin and fig. It's very easy to drink compared to a quad. Thinner. Finish is lingering fig and mild prune.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown unfiltered with a reddish tinge, lots of fine carbonation, a finger of tan head that retains exceedingly well.

S: Cherries, aromatic, floral complexity, dark fruits- especially figs.

T: Now I see why its so highly rated. Cherries and dark fruits with a light sweetness, liquorice finnish with a long lasting mild bitter taste that is in harmony with the beer as a whole.

M: Amazingly smooth, medium body, lots of fine foamy carbonation.

O: I don’t smoke but could see a cigar pairing well with this beer. I think it’s the overall composition with the mouthfeel, head retention, scent and taste that make this beer one of the world’s most sought after beers. I went to In De Verde and picked up a case of 6 less than 2 weeks ago. Love it, refined classic brew that will keep you sipping.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with amber hues up to the light. One finger light beige head, really sticky.
Typical dubbel smell, with dark fruit, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, cake, Belgian sugars and chocolate.
Rich chocolate and caramel from the start, sweet and "lumpy", perfectly molded with dark malts, creating a chocolate cake taste. Dark fruits (like plum and figs) aren't alone here, but accompanied by red cherries, banana, red apple, red grapes and lemon rind (producing also some nice light tartness and sourness). Lots of spices, with cinnamon, vanilla, slight clove and pepper, notes of aniseseed also.
There's an earthy-woody note also, producing an oaky taste, close to reminding of a barrel aged beer (the light tart and the musty grapes help also) . This, and taking the nice warm alcohol into consideration, produces a cognac-like taste. Especially in the finish.
Hops are present, mildly bitter, giving off some green tobacco and grass, also some dryness.
Body is chewy at first, with a prickly fizz throughout, goes down easily and keeps you asking for more.
Expectations were high, but this beer was higher even. Definitely the best dubbel i've ever had. Too bad it's hard (and expensive) to find.

Had it some time later. Big let-down, something seems to have happened here.

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

Visited Sint-Sixtusabdij while on extended stay in Belgium. Beer appeared dark caramel with a modest lite brown head. I recommend going to 'In the Vrede' if you have a chance. The atmosphere is welcoming.

Beer smells of fresh baked bread, fig, caramel and a subtle alcohol ether. On the palate, this dubbel has a complete repertoire. Tart fruits, sweet caramel and pure earth. The finish is clean with developed carbonation.

Anyone needs to experince Sint Sixtusabdijs. And the dubbel 8% is worth the trip.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From: Etre Gourmet, Belgium
Date: Best by 2014-08-19
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Westvleteren's '8' is a fairly typical dubbel: easy-to-drink and rather sweet, with notable fruity esters. The flavor borders more on the side of a Belgian strong dark ale, and does not widely differ in flavor or quality from many other dubbels. Considering the hype and price, one I would definitely would not go out of my way to try again.

Pours a 1cm head of beige foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, creating a frothy appearance. Average head retention of around one minute. Lacing is good, though not great, some modest lines and dots adorn the inner sides of the glass. Body is a dark garnet color, nearly black-brown, with light bringing out garnet-amber hues and orange tints. Carbonation is visible throughout he slightly transparent body, substantial and quite active.

Aroma is sweet, slightly fruity with grape ester, some Belgian yeast mustiness, then raisins, light toast, and faint brown sugar. It's not a particularly impressive or robust aroma, and aside from the sweetness and fresh grape esters, one has to search with some effort to find the various components.

Taste, overall, is sweet with touches of anise, grape, and mild bittering hops. The sweetness, though prominent, is neither syrupy nor bready, just slight hints of caramel and candi sugar characters. Front of palate finds sweet and fruity flavors, with strong grape esters, slight caramel, and hints of anise and raisin. Mid-palate of anise, Belgian amber candi sugar, grape ester, light toffee, and hints of ethanol. more fruit and spice than malt and sugar. Back of palate finds richer, toffee-like sweetness with more noticeable ethanol and continued anise and grape ester flavor. Aftertaste of light caramel sweetness, lingering grape ester, slight bitterness, and ethanol.

Beer is medium weight in body, with medium-high carbonation levels. Prickly as it moves across the palete, but fairly quickly becoming foamy and smooth on the palate. Closes dryly, with light stickiness on the palate.

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

11.2 oz bottle. Picked up at at the brewery cafe last year. Its almost exactly one year old.

Appearance: A lot of chill haze in this now. Dark amber brown. I'm guessing it will clear with warming. Excellent tight head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Raisin-date-fig spectrum of dark fruits. All grain toast. HInt of alcohol.

Taste: As expected from the smell. Nice complexity of flavor. Ends with some toasty, husky grain flavors and is drier than you would expect, but seems less so as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation, smooth and slightly sticky at first, but the aforementioned dryness starts to take over a bit at the end. Ultimately lasting rich flavors in the finish.

Overall: A very good beer. The flavors are a bit more like a small quad than that of a large dubbel. The dryness took me by surprise. A great Belgian, but its much better on draft at the source.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

AP: Deep rich brown colour with a 3/4" light tan head with spots of brown that make it look like a cappuccino with cinnamon sprinkled across the face of it. Head dwindles to 1/4" with decent lacing on the sides.
AR: Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, plum, grape, brown bread, Belgian yeast, fruit cake. Not as sweet smelling as I thought it would be.
T: Baked brown bread, brown sugar, sticky toffee, a hint of molasses, plum and grape (both dark and white), a hint of cinnamon and toasty grains. Very pleasant flavours.
M: Lighter in body than I thought it would be for an 8% Dubbel, moderate carbonation, slightly creamy mouthfeel, fairly clean finish. The ABV is well hidden.
OV: A very tasty brew that I'm glad I purchased and got to try. The flavours, while nothing really jumps out at me, are very well balanced and blend nicely together. It goes down very easy for an 8%er. A really good sipper.

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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 Smurf2055
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark murky brown with a finger of light tan head, quick dissipation. Pretty well carbonated and yeast chunks floating.

Smell is deep, figgy, plum, raisin, bit of chocolate. Very rich and earthy.

Taste is caramel and bread, plum, a bit of belgium yeast. Very smooth drinking. Strong mouthfeel leaves mouth coated, long lasting flavor.

After letting it warm up for a bit, the smell is much more fruity, apple, fig, and plum.

Taste is richer, more chocolate comes out, darker fruit and earthy. Almost a champagne style finish.

This is an amazing beer and a great experience. Hope the 12 holds up.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Beautiful looking beer. Deep mahogany body. Frothy, off-white head has nice retention and great lace.

S - Dark honey, touch of cinnamon and anise, clove, maple syrup, raisin, light cognac and caramel. Great integration.

T - Tons of caramel with a slow arc into brown breads and sweet cognac. Surprisingly light on complexity, but has great staying power.

M - Medium body with bright carbonation.

O - Not as much dark fruit or complexity as I've come to expect from the style, but it's still a great beer. Imho it drinks like a FANTASTIC belgian brown ale.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark chestnut; medium tan head; long lasting with good lacing

Aroma: Malty; hoppy; pronounced alcohol; spices I can't place (maybe clove or coriander)

Taste: Dried fruit; peppery; warming alcohol; coriander; Outstanding and delicious

Remarks: Drank at In de Vrede; these beers certainly live up to their hype.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of jlindros
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from Belgium and shared with rudzud.

Decent fluffy fizzy but smaller head fades fairly quickly, murky chestnut mahogany brown color with yeast sediment chunks.

Nose is brown malts, bit syrupy like, nutty toffee, caramel, almost molasses like, nice soft aged dark fruits, aged malt too, light phenols and touch of booze, nice candy brown sugar to round it off, very light oxidation.

Taste starts with lots more brown malts, fairly thick but not really syrupy. Nutty, toffee, and light molasses, with faint toasty malts and little chewy caramel candy. Also very light are candied aged dark fruits, covered in brown sugar. Sweet candy, lead to light booze warmth and a bit of phenols, but also a light oxidation again but very light and mostly toward the finish. Very light hops. Finish is drier, not sticky at all, more candy like flavors lingering, toffee nutty caramel flavors.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, not syrupy at all, decent carb, light warming booze.

Overall pretty nice. Maybe better than westy 12 but not sure. Tasty beer aside from the oxidation which is very light on the flavor. I'm impressed how it gets the sweet characters but not syrupy at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out as a deep amber brown color with a quick fading tan head on top. There isn't much retention or lacing at all. The smell of the beer give off some Belgian spice notes with some cherry and vanilla in the mix. The taste of the beer is bready, spicy slightly sweet and earthy. The mouthfeel is very well carbonated and has a slight booziness in the finish. Overall it's a very good beer but it's nothing overly special. I believe the challenge of getting these beers adds to the hype which reflects the initial score of them. It's good just not as good as the score on here shows.

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Photo of spoony
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 330 ml bottle into a chalice.

A-The beer is dark, dark brown with just a hint of ruby red. The khaki/tan head of dense foam starts at about one and one-half fingers' height and drops to a thick cap. The retention is pretty good and there is a decent bit of lacing left on the glass.

S-Surprisingly aggressive alcohol on the nose...it warms you up. Otherwise, I smell brown sugar, prunes, raisins, banana, and clove spice.

T-The taste is intense and more peppery than the nose with lots of dark, dried fruits, particularly prune. There is just a hint of hoppy bitterness at the end. The alcohol, while still aggressive, is well-mixed and complimentary to the flavor. Pretty nice.

M-The feel is plush, softly carbonated and medium to full body. The finish lasts and lasts.

O-This is a very good dubbel. The looks, in particular, are a example for others to follow. The nose is a bit too aggressive for me, but the flavor is pretty solid. Interestingly, this beer is much less sweet and more peppery than the XII.

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Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge thanks to JLindros for sharing this beer.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a cloudy hazel hue with a thin white blanket that leaves nice lacing and light retention.

S - Aromas of very light cardboard , caramel, malty sweetness, and support faint toffee.

T - Taste is very pleasant with not much oxidation at all, light caramel notes, tasty toffee and not syrupy at all!

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for what it is. Was expecting it to be much heavier and syrupy.

O - Overall I was happily impressed by this beer. Very glad to have tried it !

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to mmciz for this beer!

bottle cap is dated 27:09:15.

vintage 2012.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: medium brown bodied beer with big fluffy 2 fingers of head! Slowely drops down to a thick cap. Leaves spotty to moderate levels of lacing on the glass.

Smell: sweet malts, tons of dark fruits, caramel, chocolate pudding, brown sugar, belgian yeast, bubblegum and bananas! What a complex nose! Really fantastic smells coming from this beer. The dark fruits greet your nose before you ever get your nose near the glass.

Taste: Huge dark fruit mostly figs, raisins, and plums. Sweet caramel and bready malts with a hint of leather. Slightly spicey and fruity belgian yeast. This beer is so clean that you dont get much of an aftertaste even though the beer is quite malty and flavorful.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Creamy and slick on the palate. Perfectly carbonated. Not a hint of 8% abv. Just a touch of dryness in the beers finish. Very well done!

Overall: This is easily the best Dubbel that I have ever drank. Its just wonderful. Benchmark for the beer style. Westy 8 is as good as they say it is!!!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anticipation grows as I work up the Westvleteren latter at Cafe In de Vrede. Already served from the bottle into glass as it arrived at my table. On to the beer;

The 8 is ruby brown colored with an inch of rocky head. The head retention is acceptable and it leaves some creamy lace around. The aroma is not only complex, but downright appetizing! Hello? Figs. How are you? Raisins. Quite well. Prunes. Thank you very much. Chocolate and pudding and yeast.

Don't stop there. Get that palate ready for a party. The figs make their mark right away. Raisins don't trail far behind. A kiss of grass breaks the trend of sweet notes, but make no mistake, this is not sweet as in sugar sweet. A kiss of pepper adds a kick. Chocolate pudding adds a heavenly final blow to this outstanding dubbel. The beer is full bodied with a "peppery" carbonation, and it remarkably drinkable for a dubbel.

I've had dubbels which I've enjoyed a lot. Westvleteren just topped that list with its own. With its combination of great taste and drinkability, this was my favorite of the Westvleteren family.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Westvleteren Chalice
Date on cap: 10.09.13

A- Really nice looking beer. One finger egg shell white head, dissipates to a nice frothy layer on top. Really nice lacing that coats the side of the glass. Dark dark brownish red color. Floaties galore, probably the most amount of sediment i have ever seen in a beer.
S- Wow incredibly sweet/fruity aroma. Dark fruits. The raisin and plum come out very strong. Brown sugar, sweet malts.
T- Different then the aroma. Not as fruit forward as the aroma, brown sugar, molasses in the taste. More plum then raisin, figs come out. More balanced then i was expecting. The aroma was so fruit forward and sweet, the taste differs drastically, very impressive!
M- Medium mouthfeel, dry finish. Leaves a creamy feeling in your mouth.
O- Im really impressed. Its been a while since i had Westy 8. This was my last bottle from my trip to Belgium 3 years ago. I shed a few tears as i finished it, but really enjoyed it!

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Photo of deebo
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

At the Cafe de Verve, time to move on from the blond and move up one step to the dubbel. This beer is dark brown, cloudy appearance with medium sized and amount of CO2 bubbles. Roasted malt flavor with an alcohol end note. Notes of chocolate and coffee present, missing the dark ripe estery fruits normally found in dubbels. The mouthfeel is quite nice, creamy and heavy with a nice smoothness and drinkable. This beer ends with a dark roasted malt quality with a hint of spiciness-more hoppy than yeasty.

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Photo of tilbo
3.94/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown copper colour with a big creamy off white head with great retention. Strong aroma of dried fruit mostly plum also a bit of caramel and tobacco notes. flavour is very smooth low carbonation light dried fruit with a nice sweetness and well balanced bitterness. also the alcohol is barely noticeable. excellent beer

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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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