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

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807 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: 807 | Ratings: 2,094
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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Photo of Bleedcold
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Consumed from a Trappistes Rochefort glass.

Appearance: This beer has a great look its cloudy, dark and creamy in appearance with a good level of carbonation and foam.

Smell: It smells of dark fruits (Figs and Cherry are prevalent) Possibly some brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: Sugars, and darker fruits for sure very smooth and rich. Can not really taste much of the alcohol. mostly tastes of fruite very clean.

Mouthfeel: Slight amount of spice, mild carbonation and creamy.

I absolutely love this beerdeffinatly in my top 5 of actually tried beers, Superbe .

I have a Westy 12 in my refrigerator and I have never had that one. absolutely ecstatic to try. Will be reviewing that beer shortly thanks for the read.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle cap says 03.06.12. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown--nearing black--with a finger and a half of white head. Still manages good clarity around the edges. Medium sized bubbles which recede to a nice thick ring. Very good retention and a few dots of lacing.

S: Dark molasses, brandy-soaked dark fruit (blackcurrant, loads of fig), cherry juice, brown sugar, caramel and Christmas spice.

T: Caramelized sugar, dried fruit, cherry juice, spices (cinnamon and allspice), and a perfect level of dryness. A little booze comes through but it's mild.

M: Carbonation is on the high end, cola-like in its sharpness. Medium-full body.

O: Superb complexity that develops in the glass, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of chrisgalvin
4.93/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

See my review of the 12.

I dropped some cash and purchased some of this from a reputably shop online and was really happy with my purchase. Some could say that it was a bucket list next to actually visting the brewery to buy my own case. Nice appearance with a bit of suspended yeast, malty malty taste and minimal hops. Truly a great beer from the "Westy Lads..."

I prefer the 8 to the 12 purely on my own palate. Both are truly fantastic beers.

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Photo of IPA35
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second review 22-03-2013

From the same batch, so it is over half a year old now.

A lovely dark brown beer with an offwhite head. Quality foam. Looks just great.

An extremely complex scent. Sweet but also with a certain earthiness to it and some tartness as well. Darker malts, chocolate, toffee, even some oaky vanilla stuff going on. Dark fruits, slightly boozy dark fruits. Raisins, dried figs, big dried prunes maybe cherry and some red apple (tartness). Just great smelling.

A very malt forward beer that is not overly sweet actually. A pretty big dark maltiness. The fruitiness is nice and balances out the firm maltiness. Take a sip and let it sit in the mouth for a few seconds to enjoy the complex flavours.

The body is medium and nice and smooth. Well carbonated.

Overall a great dubbel. Better than the Westmalle? I don't think so. Equal? Probably.

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Photo of Jonada
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle best by 11th November 2014. Served in a Chimay goblet

Appearance: Muddy brown color. Nearly opaque with quite a bit of sediment in the glass. Poured about 1 finger of a creamy light tan head.

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel, red grape, sweet milk chocolate. There's a hint of tartness as well.

Taste: Sweetness upfront balanced out by slight bitterness in the finish. Flavors of raisins, grape, plum, bready malt, slight spice from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, soft mouthfeel despite the medium/high carbonation. Gentle alcohol warmth in the throat and chest as it goes down

Overall: Really good beer, but doesn't live up to the hype in my opinion. Considering the great effort or cost that goes into obtaining this, I'll be sticking to more readily available options in the future.

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Photo of sfprint
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Exp: 8/18/2013
A: very very dark and opaque. small flakes of yeast suspended. Quickly dissipating head, too, dense to see any rising carbonation but there's a little something rising through the center. After sipping, it does form a pretty beautiful creaminess on the surface. Very even lacing.
S: interesting, coffee candy, cherry alcohol syrup, creamy, fiber powder, other complexities I can't describe. Pretty damn impressive.
T: Pretty crazy. I haven't had a beer like this one before. Chocolately. Really nice malt. It tastes like a dark malt and it's perhaps the first beer that I've had where the malt is such a defined flavor. Like malt coffee. And it's beautiful. With a perfect "grain" flavor on top. And while that's 65% of the flavor, sitting right under it, which is more like an unsweet cherry cola. No detection of alcohol.
M: Perfect mouthfeel. Thick and creamy with a very delicate carbonation sting. Unlike any other mouthfeel in a beer I've had,
O: An incredibly special beer. Incredibly. I wasn't blown away with the Blonde. Actually disappointed, which made me skeptical about how this one would be. But this one lives up to it's fetishized name. With that said, I'm not jumping up and down saying, this is the most delicious beer I've ever had. Dubbels are not my style. But this one is the holy grail of Dubbels. Magical. It was worth the 10 euros I paid for it (please dont bash me!).

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.71/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

My bottle is dated February 2014, one year from now, so I guess it's a couple of years old.

A: A dulled bottle brown body with a creamy light beige head which clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Mildewy dried prunes/figs/dates and Cointreau. Nothing else.

T: Not registering any big flavour up front but it's quite crisp. Initially dry but sweetens up slightly. A tad bitter but pleasantly so and gets better with warmth but really there's not a lot to it. No interesting fruity esters, bubblegum or marzipan. Just a very fine balance of modest, conventional Belgian dark ale flavours, just like in the Westy 12. I can pick out a bit of sherry, a bit of mildew or something like an old wine cork flavour. Alcohol is very well hidden. Virtually no aftertaste. Verging on blandness if not for the crispness.

M: The balance and mouthfeel are the centrepiece. Beautifully creamy and silky and yet crisp at the same time. Also a bit sticky.

O: I thought I'd missed the point with the Westy 12 but now I've been similarly underwhelmed by the 8. If my bottle was a typical example of a two year old bottle then it tastes very ordinary with a bit of age. I'd love to try a fresh one because all these people can't be wrong.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Cap is dated 02.12.07.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, grape juice, and lots of dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and some really tasty flavors.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Westvleteren 8 (2011 vintage)

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a goblet. Served at cellar temperature.

A) It was burnt amber in color. A little bit hazy with a bit of sediment noted as well. There was nearly a finger of off-white head which quickly dissipated to a collar.

S) A pleasant sweetness which I found to include some raisin and pear slices as well as a little bit of nuttiness probably best described as hazelnut. There were some nice spices too. This is a rich, filling aroma. This could possibly be how Ron Burgundy's apartment smells.

T) The flavor is near the nose, but what I found was a little more grape from a fruit standpoint and a hint of coffee as well. The yeast is also noted in the flavor. Sweet for sure, but also bitter enough for balance. Very, very little alcohol, actually the 8% a ABV was quite well hidden

M) A medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Actually more carbonation than I really anticipated, not that this was a bad thing. Really a very smooth beer. The finish is very dry, and the aftertaste is quite pleasant and clean.

O) A very nice treat on my birthday, so thanks for the bottle Dad. Met my expectations and definitely worth acquiring. Look forward to trying the Westy 12 some day.

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

Served slightly chilled just below room temperature. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Amber or perhaps chest nut coloured liquid crowned by a white - beige head. Got som bubbles playing around.

S: Apricot, butter scotch, almond, chocolate and alcohol. It has some kind of smell that reminds me of the limestone church where I grew up.

T: Sweetness at first. Almonds, raw sugar, chocolate and syrup. The finish is bitter. It also have some fruity tastes to it, towards apricot.

M: Creamy yeat bubbely. A bit dry in the finish.

O: Very balanced and surprisingly easy to drink. An excellent beer but it lacks the big WOW that would make it a true titan among giants.

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

Bottle courtesy of totoropanda. Thanks Daniel. Pours a dark amber with small tan head that has decent retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is fruity with raisin and plum, some caramel, and some light oxidation. The taste is mildly sweet with raisin plum, and a bit of caramel. The finish is slightly dry with a light bitterness. Medium body. Medium-low carbonation. Good. Like a slightly toned down version of Westy 12.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer poured a deep purple with a two-finger head that dissipated into a thin white foam.

S: Exquisite grape and dark fruit, some fruity phenolic character and a tiny touch of spice.

T/M: Incredible dark fruit and grape flavor with very low alcohol presence. The beer starts with a light bitterness and carbonation bite, followed by the dark fruit/malt flavor, and morphs into more complex drying fruit notes from the yeast. Very low phenolic astringency, the yeast blends into the flavor profile perfectly.

Overall: Extraordinary, one of the best belgian beer I have laid my hands on. I thought that all of the westy beers were just hype machines, but this is just magnificent, I cannot imagine that Westy 12 is any better.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Brian (msubulldog) for throwing this in as an extra!

2006 vintage, consumed Dec., 2012, shared at Funky Buddha, Boca Raton, FL.

Dark mahogany color, with a small tan head that retained as a thin layer, and left a little lacing on the glass. Absolutely loved the aroma on this. Rich scents of sweet raisins, figs, caramel malts, brown sugar, Belgian yeast. Super smooth. I almost want to give it a 5.0. The taste reflects the nose, dried dark fruits, mingled with smooth malt sweetness, dark sugars, a touch of cocoa, and a mellow but ubiquitous booziness throughout the session. Smooth mouthfeel, medium body, moderate carbonation. Complex and well-crafted.

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

Sampled from a 33 cl bottle bought in Brussels.

A - A dark brown color with some red or even burgundy highlights when held to light. Slightly cloudy. Sediment in bottle got stirred during the pour and seems to contribute to the cloudiness. Head is tan and piled 4-5 cm high initially. Faded to a thin layer and big beefy ring around the glass. Serious lacing.

S - Beautiful aroma. Bready malt, molasses, raisins, and brandy-like alcohol jump out and dominate. There is a bit of spice in the background that adds complexity. There is a minty/medicinal note (could be from hops) that lightens the aroma and keeps it from giving a cloying impression.

T - The taste is well balanced and complex, but not as complex as the aroma. The warm, bready malt balances against the minty/medicinal hops flavor. Additional flavors like licorice, alcohol and dried fruits run around the edges, but the finish is dry and does not linger.

M - Medium body. Prickly carbonation lightens the mouthfeel. Alcohol burn is well-hidden. Hop bitterness is present but not overt. Some sweetness coats the mouth and offsets the generally dry finish.

O - Overall, this is an outstanding beer. No flaws. Every aspect is appealing. If I had a wish, it would be for a bit more body and complexity, but now I'm splitting hairs.

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Photo of Theshooster
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have visited the In De Vrede Cafe located right next door to the Westvleteren Monatry 4 times now and each time is a special treat. My good friend lives in Poperinge, a tiny town just south of the cafe and each time I visit we grab the bicycles and go for a beer. Absolutely delicious and the seclusion of the place is equally wonderful. Nestled in the middle of hops paradise. I typically order the 8 to get my taste buds fired and ready for the 12.

A - Brown and caramel, not as dark as the 12

S - Sweet, fruity aroma

T - Spiced, caramel, lovely taste

M - Full but not quite as complete as the 12

O - A wonderful beer in a wonderful location

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,094 ratings.
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