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: 2,132
Photo of Graham21
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a snifter, pours a nice amber-brown, murky with a nice big frothy, tan head. Smells of yeasts, sour, citrus, alcohol, nutmeg, cinnamon, metallic. Tastes of cinnamon, alcohol, some hops, malts, light sugar. Good mouthfeel; nice carbonation and moderatley thick, foam creates nice cream taste. Good in all areas; but lacking on complexity.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Raison colored pour with a very thick, creamy toffee colored head.

S - Vanilla, dark fruit, dark candy sugar, and some cherries.

T - Sweet Belgian caramel, spice, light cloves, bready, yeasty, and with light cherry undertones.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation, slightly sticky.

O - This was a pretty old bottle in review.

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Photo of FatheadBrew
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My sister brought this back from Belgium for me.

A: Pours very dark purplish with some ruby highlights poking through. Large 3 finger billowy head forms and lasts throughout drinking.

S: Fruity, maybe grapes or figs, subtle malt, hint of roast at the end

T: Starts off sweet. Faintly fruity. Biscuity middle. Dry, slightly bitter finish. Very complex, but not overly powerful flavors.

M: Smooth, fills the mouth with flavor. Perfect carbonation.

D: Good. Went down very easy for 8%. The finish kind of got me though.

Overall a very nice beer. I don't know if I would say it is in the top 10 beers I have ever had. Wish I had a couple more though.


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Photo of beerdrifter
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at the Westvleteren Abbey and it's been resting in my cellar ever since. Cap date of 12-05-13. Murky mahogany brown pour with a two finger beige head with nice retention and great lacing. Somewhat subdued nose with hints of brown bread, dark fruit, subtle vanilla, rust, and toffee. The taste is much bolder than the nose suggested, with hints of almond, dark fruits, vanilla, brown bread, subtle cocoa, molasses, and cloves. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation, nice balance, and good drinkability. Overall, this has held up really well in the cellar, and I think it's actually improved. No signs of oxidation at all, and hugely drinkable. Definitely giving the 12 a run for its money!

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Photo of brendanos
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I figured after many years of delaying my first review, this would be as good a beer as any to kick off with...

Ap - Rosey-brown with burgundy highlights, splotchy pattern in the head which was also noted in the Blond, small bead, persisitant head, fine lace.
Ar - dried fruits - fig, plum, raisin, some warming alcohol notes and esters with an overall perceived smoothness. More vinous notes evident as the beer warms.
T - subtle and well balanced flavours of sweeter fruits, soft malt, caramel, with a warming finish and a noticeable but smooth bitterness.
M - Creamy, slightly prickley (ethanol), with a pleasant smoothness from start to finish.
D - Very smooth and well balanced beer, a delight to drink, but not quite as overwhelming as I was expecting.

Reminds me of a lot of the St Bernardus brunes, or a fresh Westmalle Dubbel.

BB: 05-12-11

I will look forward to trying the 12!

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Photo of stevefinny
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought I would start my first beer review with a BANG. Thank you Flick for 06' Bottle straight from the source.

Appearance: Poured into large wine glass. Thick tan head. Nice lacing. Just beautiful dark caramel color. It is really amazing how pretty this beer looks. I am really excited.

Smell: I dont know if it was just me but i got this tart figgy yeast smell up front. After a minute or so got this great roasted malt with figs and dates, slight alcohol. My mouth is salivating.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth and almost creamy. This is actually 8% ABV. WOW. Caramel, roast malt, dates, candy sugar, toffee, slight alcohol and seems to leave a mild coffee flavor and somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I wish I had more. By far one of the best Dubbels I have ever had the privilege of trying. Wish this beer was easier to get I could defiantly get use to drinking this on a daily basis.

My first official beer review and my first Westvleteren 8. Great way to start things.

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Photo of korndog
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

55F into a Tulip. Poured a bit lighter and with a more aggressive head than the 12. Dissipating head cratered from the middle and left a high lacing that looks like it's going to stick around. More spicy nose than big bro, with the expected candi syrup, yeast, and general dark, earthy goodness. Carbonation danced nicely on the sides of my pallete fanning the heavenly fumes back into my nose. Having reviewed the 12 first, I now understand what it will become after a good bit of cellaring. This beer is very drinkable and has a less cloying mouthfeel than 12, but does not carry the sublime messages to my brain. The fruit, raisiny, slightly phenolic notes are there, and make for an intreesting journey. This is a beer I would serve to my father in law as my best brew.

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Photo of chalsk
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chocolate murky brown haze with an off white foam head. Is less creamy and the alcohol comes through more than with it's 12 brethren. Sweet up front. Dark fruit throughout. Nice chocolate notes on the back end. Has a Dry sweet finish. Very nice beer.

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Photo of asabreed
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. 15.09.07 on the cap, which I imagine means "best by 9.15.07" -- We'll see how it lasted. Purchased for $9.95 about five or six years ago.

Appearance: Dark and cloudy brown / amber -- almost like a black and tan with dark brown on the top and the dark but lighter semi-cloudy amber color on the bottom. Lacing leaves a lot of thick and slowly dissipating drops of off-white sticking to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The first thing I think of is honey-covered or golden raisins soaked in red wine. There are aromas of sour apples and almost barrel sourness like a Flemish Red. There's a healthy dose of earthiness that's almost like moss without the phenolic nature to it. Candi sugar or rock candy sweetness is definitely there, along with hints of sweet tobacco and tree bark. Very complex and nuanced overall.

Taste: Initial hints of earthy sweetness, figs, prunes, raisins, a bit of sweet tobacco, black magic marker. Mild citrus hops on the back end. A good balance of darker sweet fruits also. Dark cherries definitely, maybe honey-soaked. And there's a bit of a rhubarb pie component, weirdly enough -- with its earthiness, mild sourness, and sweetness going on, sometimes at the same time. Lingering dark fruits with mild citrus hops and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Initially somewhat watery but the carbonation comes very quickly, balancing things and adding some champagne-like bubbles to the mix (which isn't surprising considering the massive amount of yeast resting at the bottom of the bottle).

Drinkability: I expected this, as one may assume, to be pretty amazing. And though it was good and I enjoyed it, I've had better and more complex and nuanced Dubbels in the past. Did I wait too long, since I've had the bottle for five years or more? I thought this would keep for many more years. I'm glad I finally tried it and waited, but I was hoping for more. It just feels like it's a shadow of its former self, in some ways, or that it's lost a step. Maybe someday I'll get to try a 12.

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Photo of jbonapar
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm shocked that I'm actually reviewing this beer. Purchased at Pub Italia in Ottawa, i can't believe they have some.

Appearance: Full carbonation with a wonderfully thick head. Almost cream like.

Smell: Sweet tart granny smith apple (as mentioned by others) almost cider like with some thick sour-dough bread maltiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A wonderfully sour crispness blends with a creamy phenol and spiced flavor. Hard to put a name on what I sense. Very complex, almost like a double with hints of a lambic. Very very mild wild yeast overtones. Sourness drifts away into a bitter bite that ends crisp, just like it began

Overall, i like and see why this brewery is known for their complex beers. I hope i get to try the 12 next time.

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Photo of Paddez
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a turbid dark brown brew with a big tan head. Very nice.

Smell: The smell is probably the best part about this beer. Dark fruits, roasted malts and honey are the main attractions with some faint hints of alcohol near the end. There's something else going on there, but I can't really put my finger on it. Qiute complex and very good.

Taste: Roasty, caramelly, ... notes of honey bring a lightly sweet touch to the brew. Figs and other dark fruits carry the taste towards a slightly spicy and dry finish. Good but definitely not ground-breaking.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Excellent mouthfeel: smooth, creamy with a gentle and pleasant carbonation. The more it warms, the more the alcohol gets a pleasant, warming effect. Drinkability is good, as long as it's not too cold.

Conclusion: Very 'dubbel'-like in character. It's a good and solid beer, but world class? Meh.

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Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Josh, you da man! Cap date 12.05.13.

Brown, hazy, tan head and mild lace. Aroma of raisins, malt, spices, a touch sweet.

Rich and complex taste, though not game-changing like Westy 12. Finishes dry with malt and spices. Improves as it warms. Good, but can't touch Westy 12.

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Photo of westweasel
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special shout out to tpd975 for providing a chance to taste this special brew.

The smell was dominated by cherries and caramel. I am very impressed!

The appearance was and opaque dark amber, with about 1/4 inch of beige head.

In the taste I found caramel, butterscotch, toffee, a little bit of alcohol, and a slight bitterness at the end of the swallow. The mouthfeel was medium.

This is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer. I had expected it to be more creamy - but maybe my bottle is pretty fresh and would benefit from more aging.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle big thanks to deepsouth for sending this my way. First off this smells pretty amazing, light hints of cherry and malts but just a real nice smell, raisins. The flavor is a nice bready dubbel. Nice beer, remimds me of the westmalle dubbel a little bit, very good.

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Photo of impending
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours an opaque dirty ruddy chestnut, dense middlin creamy tan head subsides slowly, ok lacing.

Aroma is sweet spiced figgy goodness with phenolic undertones, it's happy, it's delicious.

Taste echos the nose except the phenols which ride the length of the flavor are much stronger. Aftertaste begins a bit dry with just a tiny grape skin bitter atop yeasty grains, long lasting. Medium bodied prickly yet creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Poured a somewhat opaque brown hue. Aroma has prominent notes of dark fruit, banana, caramel, molasses, and cola. The flavor presents much of the same but 8's golden triumph (like the rest of the Westy beers) is its ability to balance sweetness and dryness. It doesn't leave that lingering sweetness that often bothers my palate. Alcohol is very soft as is the mouthfeel. My least favorite of the three but still the best Dubbel I have ever had.

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Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Jeff at TJ'sEveryday for sharing this beauty with me. This is another one of those beers I just assumed I'd never get to try.

Perhaps unrealistic expectations did this beer in, but I was not as blown away by this beer as I expected to be. This was actually the consensus of everyone trying this beer this evening, so maybe there was something a bit off with either the beer or us. Of course some of us had just come from a IPA/DIPA festival, so that might have been a factor as well. In any event....

The beer pours a dark brown color with very good head retention and fair lacing. The beer smells pretty rich on the nose, with a complex blend of citrus, chocolate malt and Belgium funk. However, the sweet chocolate malt aroma dominated this beer. On the palate, again this beer was pretty malty and sweet, with flavors of chocolate and carob. There is also some brown sugar and flavors reminiscent of German chocolate cake. It was good, but hardly mind blowing. The beer was very smooth and it finished very well. The abv. is very well disguised and it was pretty drinkable.

A very nice beer, but just not quite what I was expecting or hoping. It was good, but I kept on thinking there should be more to it. Oh well...

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Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Trappist Westvleteren 8 is a clean, dry and simple dubbel. I don't taste all the complexity that everyone else on this page raves about.

A: Dark brown colur and a big 2 cm head that lasts really well. 4.5

S: Strong aroma of Belgian yeast as well as a little sourness. Not a strong aroma. 4

T: Malty but quite dry with some subtle dried fruit flavour. There is some dry toasty malt in the finish and the alcohol is quite noticeable. I also taste some metallic flavours but I may be confused by the dryness and the alcohol. It's a clean pleasant beer but I didn't find it very complex. 4

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 4

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Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a murky reddish brown with a finger and a half of off white head. The retention is great and it clings to the glass nicely.

Smell: A bit sweet with some dark fruit and cherry notes. Mildly tart with some Belgian yeast spice.

Taste: Not as sweet as I was expecting. There is a strong cherry note along with some other dark fruits. A very mild sour note, not sure if it is supposed to be there or not. The finish is malty with a very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium. The carbonation is extremely smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: A very good Dubbel, but didn't quite live up to my expectations, which were admittedly high. The cherry notes were very pleasant and everything blended together quite nicely.

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Photo of yapi
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank this just before my first westy 12... so it was a good appetizer!

Wasn't that impressed and imho this one is more undeservedly hyped than the 12... my friend loves this one, prefers it over the 12, but I don't find it nearly as complex, full, sweet and creamy as the 12. But to each his own. Dark fruit, a bit on the light side, and a bit too much of an alcohol taste. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not as good as I expected. Then again, it was a fresh one, If I can age a couple of bottles, maybe I can upgrade this one.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1202nd Review on BA
Bottle to Bruery Tulip
330 Ml

Didnt save the cap, so didnt see the date

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing

App- Super dark brown with no light coming in. A mix of ambers in there as well. Huge puffy head with a good bit cling and lace.

Smell- Westy 8 has a lot going in the nose but I couldn't pick up on all of it. A bit of a small quad note really. I got a lot of dark fruits, a little sweetness and a good dose of Belgian Yeast.

Taste- A nice dubbel without overkilling it on the spice. Had a nice hidden and layered sweetness with a big dose of the yeast. The 8% is well hidden and doesnt affect the beer with respects to drinkability.

Mouth- A well layered medium body with a medium carbonation. Has a residual sweetness and a yeasty dark fruit flavor.

Drink- A very nice dubbel. Very smooth and drinkable without being too hot or too spicy as some tend to be for me.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown and nearly black, sporting a towering tan head that sticks around for quite a while

Not a big component of the beer, but I detect some sour notes, minerals, brown sugar, and even orange

Taste & Mouthfeel
Flavors are subtle and hard to describem but they are smooth and balanced the whole way through; finishes with pronounced alchol heat; body is somewhat thin; fine carbonation, though does not lead to the velvety texture found in an Orval or even Duvel; light flavors of caramel, brown sugar dominate the spectrum, but there's also a presence of grain and toasted malts

It's a really good beer, but I don't believe it lives up to the hype. I find too much fault in the thin body, weak aroma, and noticeable alcohol to give it a perfect rating. Definitely a treat to try in Belgium though!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


dark brown body with deep, bloody red rare highlights. catch the light the right way and the highlights glow radiantly. the surface has a brownish-yellow translucent layer as well, resting underneath a misty surface covered inadequately by cobwebby carbonation clusters. lacing dots the side of the glass gently and a ring stays around the edge.

aroma vomits forth ripe, rich fruits. raisin paste and juicy plum notes jump out of the glass from a distance. brown sugar smack and a light maltiness carries with it the sweet odor of cherry syrup. the slightest hint of raw cocoa beans top off this exotic nasal medley.

muddy and hot, slightly overcarbonated for the depth of flavor. nice caramel base although the alcohol abrasiveness and possible oxidation kills some of the subtler sweetnesses. warmth brings forth a kiss of fresh mowed grass and berry skins, saving the flavor from disappointing mediocrity. still, tastewise, there are better dubbels.

it's no 12, but it's a solid beer wrapped in an exquisite package. worth a try, glad i did.

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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 Brew33
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Westy 8. I'd been holding off on drinking this for months but my urges got the better of me.

It pours a dirty reddish brown. Full, tight white head. Cloudy, a bit scary. The aroma was very sweet but potent. Light alcohol in the nose. Dark fruits and brown sugar.

The taste was huge. Complex, sweet, slight burnt sugar flavor. Figs, raisins, a touch of honey. Very vinous, especially as it warms.

The mouthfeel was thick and very creamy. Stood up well to the strong flavors. Butter smooth.

All in all an excellent beer. Not too overwhelming. Complex but not overbearing.

Good beer, not worth the trouble to obtain though.

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Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
4.48 out of 5 based on 2,132 ratings.
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