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 steinlifter
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a dark cloudy brown,creamy tan head that retained nicely, fruity aroma, perhaps raisins, also smelled a whiff of iced tea,complex and pleasant
taste was superb, a bit of alcohol bite, mellowing to a fruity complex flavor, lots of fruity flavors in there, can't quite put my finger on all of them, also some burnt malts.
mouthfeel was rich full and creamy
drinkability is fantastic, one of the best beers I've ever had.I obtained this thru a trade, along with the 12, this is the 1st one I've tried, and well worth it, excellent!

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Photo of lou91
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful looking beer – alive, with a rich dark red color and a wonderful nose that makes your mouth water. On the pour it left a dark dollop in the center of sediment. Oh what a great first taste – so silky like it was on nitrogen. The alcohol is clear and present and leaves a lasting burn as the sweet honey bitter chocolate and dry hop flavors linger on your palate. This beer is a world class and fully satisfying in one glass. Block out an hour of your life and enjoy. Get it at Jackson's in Lafayette.

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

Pours a dark ruby red, topped with a two finger creamy tan head, leaves broken webs of lacing in my Westvleteren chalice.
Fruity aroma, plenty of malt with an alcohol tingle.
Cherry, plum, candy and flowers in the taste, a little powdery, a small note of nuts.
Medium bodied and quite dry, very drinkable.

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

Appearence: Pours a seductive dark browin with a thin, fizzy beige head.

Smell: The nose is full of complexity, with hints of wood, fruit, and so much more. Candy sugar is also a huge component of the sniff.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Holy god. What a phenomenal tastying beer. So much complexity, yet it's all very balanced and very tasteful. The fruit notes are huge, with cherries, grapes and many other great characteristics. There is a sugary sweet quality to it that rounds off the incredible fruitness very well. The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and very smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Well wouldn't you know it. This is damn near as good as the 12, if not better. It's smoother and more balanced, while not quite as complex. This beer is truly one of the world's best. Westvletern is the best of the Trappist breweries I've tried. The balance and complexity they achieve is unmatched by any other beer on the market. This is a remarkably smooth, tasty, complex, and delicate beer, that is perfect for any occassion. One of the world's best.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Westvleteren Abt 8 pours up frothy & lacy into a Trappist-style chalice. The Irish Cream-colored head has such tightly-beaded bubbles that swirl-up nicely into a thick meringue-like top which sets-off the chestnut brown body perfectly. The aroma is truly magnificant with an explosion of dark fruits e.g. dates, figs, raisins & prunes and a gentle spice e.g. hot cinnamon roll, crystalized ginger & vanilla pudding that carries the sweet maltiness along with maybe just a kiss of Poperinge hops in the background. The flavor starts off bready & sweet with a delicous marriage of fruit & malt. The bitterness eventually dries out the brown sugary maltiness towards the finish. This is simply a World Class Belgian ale that packs just enough alcohol punch to remind you that it's worthy of your affection. Pair generously with a nice ripe Bruges cheese, crackers and fresh melon.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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

Pours out chestnut brown, with an extremely high head retention, great carbonation. Moderately high malt aroma, with somewhat of a raisin, date, plum a little spicy aroma also.

Complex malt, with a clove spiciness, low hop flavor, moderate raisin, plum flavor also.

Smooth, silky, Full complex body, with some warming sensation.

A dark, rich, malty, Strong ale. Drink what you will, saver the rest, Enjoy thoroughly

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Photo of meathookjones
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review is from notes taken on 1/30/05. Bottle has the best by date of 12/09/06 on the cap.

I have been waiting to try this for a while for some reason. Since having other dubbels recently I decided to see how this stacked up. The pours out a dark ruddy brown with a few bits of sediment floating about. About an inch of frothy tan head foams on tap that stays for some time leaving little bits of lacing around the glass. Aroma is strong with rip dark fruits and an underlying sweetness. There is a bit of candy like sugar to it and a good amount of spice. Very appetizing aroma you could sit and sniff for awhile. Sweet malt and a bit of sugar start off the flavor. A bit hit of dark fruitiness really carries the taste. A nice variety of spice it there as well. This ends on a spicy fruity note. Very flavorful and not to sweet. Just about full bodies this is as smooth and creamy as it gets. Simply marvelous feel to it. Insane drinkability as well, which could be a bad thing since it led me to drink it quicker than expected. A must try if you like dubbels.

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

Pours dark brown with an exeptional head filled with hills and valleys. The aroma is the most remarkable I've experienced: very earthy, brown sugar and cinammon (?). The flavor starts out a little boozy, but mellows once it aerates: cinammon, apple, pepper, brown sugar, butter and oolong tea with musty hints. The bouquet seems to fluctuate between a almost cleansing edge.The booze numbs the tongue, but oddly this one is far from a palate killer. I'm deducting the drinkability .5 just because I don't think this one is perfect, but it is damn near it.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Opaque brown body with a tan small head.
Aroma: Belgian yeast aroma (with means banana, spice, and pastry aromas).
Taste: This is a beautiful malt monster with a nice big bitterness to balance it out. Bananas, carob and yeast. I really like the fact that it is not very sweet and that the malt flavors dominate the fruity ones.
Mouthfeel: I love the long lasting flavor and full body of this monster.
Drinkability: This Blue Cap is similar to the yellow cap, however it is more balanced and less sweet.

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

This pours out a cloudy dark mahogany. The head is stiff and leaves a nice lacing around the edge of the glass. Aroma is sweet at first. Upon further smelling, numerous fruits show up in the malt profile with yeasty esters providing a very complex aroma. Grape juice and a whif of alcohol round out the aroma. The taste is right up there with the aroma. It is smooth, complex. I seem to find something different in every sip with vinous fruits dominating. This is one tasty brew. Mouthfeel is chewy at first, but finishes dry leaving a nice fruity aftertaste. Drinkability is insanely good for a beer this potent.

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

A christmas gift drank to celebrate the first Eagles trip to the big dance in many a year...
Pours a wonderful dark cherry mahogany color in a goblet glass. Wonderful foam, glass lacing. the aroma is superb, probably the best thing about this beer, a fruity, woody, malty smell. Very, very inviting. I might be able to make it through 40 days of lent on the smell alone.
First sip is suprisingly banal; maybe the hype had skewed my expectations. A bready, malty taste with a hint of alchohol and good hop balance. I served the beer too cold, but as I warmed the goblet with my hands the flavor profiles did come out more, again a wonderful malty blance with hint of raisins and alchohol. I found the balance to be wonderful and suprisingly the aftertaste to also be exceptional, the actual taste seemed a tad flat. Please understand this is an exceptional beer. I honestly have enjoyed others more, the St. Bernardus Pater 6 that I've had I think is superior. I also enjoyed the Chimay I had during the post-game chat more(Chimay blue). Still this is definitely damm good. I will try this beer again, but I will wait till I visit the monks in person, God willing, down the long beer -drinking road.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue cap with a US label attached. Purchased for an outrageous price from a bar in Las Vegas (I rationalize it in that it is the ONLY time I have ever seen beer from this brewer for sale in the US- for that reason, I am thankful for the chance). I will not (I hope) let that reflect on my review.

Pours a medium muddy brown with moderate off-white head that dies quickly. Lots of dark muddy yeast at the bottom (I thought I was careful with pour- how did that happen?).

Aroma is semi-sweet, malty, milk chocolate (or is it chocolate milk?) with some dark fruits (cherry), toffee, and perhaps some coffee. A wonderful mix of aromas that I really like. It doesn't get much better.

Flavor- sharper than the aroma, more biting, but very pleasant. Flavor mellows out after a few sips. Alcohol profile is moderate-strong.

Mouthfeel is very full.

Overall, I really enjoy this, and am glad to have tried it. But to be honest, I don't get the hype. This is good, but a few others are equally good or better, in my humble opinion.

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Photo of bultrey
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, it really is the shiznit.
Lucky enough to snag a bottle at Spuyten Duyvil, for $12, which isn't bad considering you're at a great bar like Spuyten.
What strikes me about this beer is that it has all the characteristics one would expect of a great Dubbel, is so incredibly complex, but is so goddamn smooth. It's like great cooking. You should never be able to taste individual ingredients, just the great melded finished product. And this beer is a perfect example.

The major flavor components, to me, were chocolate, truffles, earth, clove, fig, a mixed bag of fruits and nuts. Drinkability is off the charts.

Perhaps the most ringing endorsement: My non-BA buddy was with me, and said "I don't really like Belgian beers," then took a sip and said, "This is undoubtedly the best Belgian beer I've ever had." Word.

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

Label Lingo and bottle babble: No Label to speak of.

Dark eggplant pour revealing glints of purple light thru the base of the tulip, topped with a huge khaki sand colored head that sticks to the sides like it was painted on. This is perfection pour held to the light, some cloudy haze to the murky pour is evoked. Lace river patterns creep down the glass.

Perky brown sugar sweet and doughy, light scents overall due to a thick foamy cap that just won’t quit.

First Swigs: Dark caramel red apple, cake dough. Confectioners sugar, cake icing. Slightly vinous with a dry clean finish. Almond extract, slightly detectable awl-kee-hawl. Fruity awl-kee-hawl. Fruity cornucopia, of pinapple, red apples and tangerine, followed by ginny, floral esters.

Frothy yet gentle foamer. Nearly perfect light to medium body. Significant carbonation. Might not want to admit this, but this is gulpable! Also, craveable any night of the week.

Last Swigs: Gentle dark sugar air. Sheer delight. Intimidation factor: Done.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

Dark and beautiful amber, clear with some carbination a-rising to the eggshellish thick and creamy head. Decent head retention. Champagne and chardonnay, vineous scents... nice. Very smooth feel, it just runs over your tongue so easily. Very bitey flavor, so nice, very sharp. Taste of alcohol, almost whiskey aftertaste. Good warm tastes. Dry with a bit of sweetness. Drinkability is pretty damn good, but you do taste alot of alcohol, so maybe not a session...
Redid this one again 12/25/04. Done in a vertical X-mas Day tasting as a special treat from my beerbud! Thanks to the BlitheringIdiot for the Westy 6,8, and 12 that we shared for a Christmas day celebration!
-Dating 04-03-07. Dark rootbeery brown with a ton of huge, frothy, khaki head that finally reduced down to a thick ring at the edges. Saison scents in the spiciness. Banana, oranges, and cherries. So nice and dry. Smooth and creamy, but not heavy. Medium maybe. Carbination is present but not overwhelming. Can feel and taste the alcohol, very nice, I enjoy that. Tastes of vanilla and dark fruits, but not sweet. The Blithering one said he tastes almond extract, yep, you can sooo get that, and once you do, that is mostly what you taste. Can smell the almond a ton at the end. The flavors are good in this one, I find it much more enjoyable than the 6. Could djoy a few of these in a sitting quite easily.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany liquid goes pouring into the goblet and raises a dirty white head that peeks just above the rim, supported by light carbonation. Head gradually dies, filming out across the surface, yet sticks moderately well. The beer is a globe of murk, but caramel-colored highlights show up at the edges. Smells of grape bubblegum come out of the bottle during the pour. In the goblet, the aroma is a bursting forth of purple fruit, especially plums, with a tangy, refreshing nosefeel. The overall suggestion is of elderberry dessert wine... with fresh-cut flower stems and VSOP cognac encrypted deep within. Now to taste. Simpler flavors than I expected, but the balance... I'll have to reconsider everything I've ever meant by "balance," because this is damn near a miracle. Chocolate malted milk, frosted grapes. Wheat bread and honey butter emerge along a separate axis. Wait, did I say this was simple? Maraschino cherries; exhalation brings tastes of amaretto. And then chocolate again: full circle. Slightly mucilaginous mouthfeel like whipped milk would be impressive in itself... but it's the alcoholic element that perfects it: never burning, it adds substance to the body, supporting the framework with its warmth.

Not quite a religious experience of a beer... just profound enough to have me licking the insides of my empty glass.

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

It sits a clear dark brown in the glass with a lacy head about 1 cm thick on top. The aroma is malty with a bit of salty sweetness. The flavors open with a grand entrance of brown sugar, carrot, and smokiness. The middle is dominated by caramel, toffee, and slight fruit flavors. The beer has a magnificently spicy end. This is by all means an excellent beer.

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Photo of ejquin
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark chocolate color with thick white foamy head, and some sedimient on the bottom. Beatiful looking beer

Smell: Floral notes and grapefruit notes. Smells exsquisite

Taste: Deep chocolate notes. small sting of alcohol. Tastes of figs and coffee as well.

Mouthfeel: smooth and silky

Drinkability: For an 8 percenter with such a smooth mouthfeel it is very drinkable.

Overall an outstanding beer.

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Photo of horndecker
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yes, it IS worth $6- a bottle.

Into a big Westmalle goblet it looks beautiful but not like a sunset. It looks beautiful because of what the tobacco colored murk promises. A very active and rocky head with nooks and crannies, just like a Thomas' English Muffin.
Vigorous carbonation at first but the head does not overwhelm the glass.

The nose is cocoa and yeast with mild citrus notes, then caramel, vegetal - cabbag-ey, then cookie dough and bready malt. Later a bit port-like. Notes of black cherries get very strong as it warms. (On other occasions I have noted sweet yams, white chocolate, earthy and musty raisins, and malted milk.)

The taste is also very complex and fascinating. Cocoa, prunes, alot of fruit, currents of coffee, mocha and taffy, all with a slightly smoky finish. A mild bitterness lingers at the tail end - it all just gets better and better with every sip. A great balance.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky despite all that initial carbonation.

Staggeringly drinkable.
postscript - I must mention a phrase coined by a friend upon tasting this beer for the first time: "...a freight train of flavor"

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

wooha, the good stuff! What can be said about the worlds best dubble (according to hundreds of BAs) that hasnt allready been said. What strikes me is the softness and smoothness of the mouthfeel. The subtleness of the cocoa and powdered sugar in the nose. The classic and impressive sheets of lace. The complexity of the flavor profile. The layers of flavors. Vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, rum, dark berries etc. Alot going on here. Buy this stuff. Enjoy

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.91/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber brown and then the sediment decided to crawl out of the bottle and it became a chunky, hazy mess. The head was tan and small bubbled and fell slowly to coat the glass as the beer was consumed.

The aroma was deep, deep malt with caramel and dark fruits, namely raisins and prunes. Also present was a pineapple aroma if the nose was held back from the chalice and deep maltiness and dark fruits if held directly above the liquid surface. Alcohol enhanced the aromas and esters and a substantial bready/biscuit aroma was also present in the complexity of it all.

The flavor was malty with caramel and dark fruits, raisins and prunes/plums. There was also a wonderfule biscuit/breadiness to the flavor and a slight spice that added to the complexity. The deep dark caramel and candy flavors were deep and interesting and the alcohol presence added to the impression of all the flavors.

The finish was just even and dried out over time into the aftertaste but the deep dark caramel, dark fruits, and spice complexity last long into the aftertaste and linger. The body was medium full and well done. The alcohol was present in the warming, but was restrained every step of the way from start to finish and at no time did the beer reveal it's 8% secret that it kept so well.

50 cl bottle. Date code on cap 26.11.03. Price of $7.50 still on bottle. This one is still pricey, but beginning to become well worth the price of admission to see the show.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Only thing there is to say about this beer is that the appearance is litle off. The white of the haze together with the brown of the beer give a strange colour that doesn't make you think you're having one of the best beers (I think) there is.
Foam keeps for ever though and the nose is litle hoppy and malty but more than that fruity( apricot like). Taste is full malty followed by fruit and ending very bitter and dry. One of my favorites!

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Photo of ken3c
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep dark brown with a tan lumpy head with darker brown patches in the foam. Intense lacing.

The aroma of berries rise from the glass.

My neighbors, when I was 8, had an old mulberry tree growing through a fence. We would climb the fence to reach the biggest darkest juiciest berries. I've never tasted anything quite as good until now. There is a pleasant bitterness near the end and the finish is dry and too short but then, anything short of forever would be too short.

Very foamy with champagne-like carbonation feel. Very warming.

I love it.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.09.06 printed on the cap.
Aroma: Some dark roasted malt with a slight bubble gum edge mixed with mild spices. Overall very mild and a touch coarse.
Appearance: Dark brown glass with a solid half finger of creamy froth of tan with an interesting ring of dirty brown where the head collapsed on itself. The head looks like it is settling in for the long haul, and it did. A smattering of lacing graced my goblet.
Flavor: First blush is the dark roasted malt, then some subtle complex flavors rush over the tongue. Anise, licorice, wet wood, grapes, powdered dry bubble gum, cola, and cocoa. Then, the dark malt rushes back in, mixed with all the flavors for a slow fading after glow. No alcohol tastes noted when chilled, but they slowly emerge as it warms.
Mouthfeel: Spritzy, a touch heavy handed with the carbonation in my view, but as the beer sits it settles down to a nice level. Very smooth with a medium heavy body, but no chew.
Overall Impression: As the beer warms, so does my impression. I’d start this beer out closer to 60 degrees to get the best effect. This is a complex, well made beer, but just didn’t provide the existential, religious, sexual experience other Trappist beers have given me. It is worth seeking, but its current ranking of 6 on the Best of BA seems a touch excessive. Overall, a world class beer that I’m very happy to add to my list.
Many thanks to Brother Stonecrusher for enlightening a simple backwoods Texan.

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Photo of hopdog
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle tasted from case bought on 1/1/02. Reddish brown in color with an off white head. Lots of particles. Aromas of dark fruits (plums & raisins), spices, dough, caramel and slight yeast. Mmmm, nice smelling. Tastes are just as complex, if not better, than the smells. Great tasting beer. Alcohol content hidden. Lively carbonation. This is a very good beer - one of my favorites (I’m glad I still have 12 in the cellar).

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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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