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Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Not Rated.
DuvelDuvel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

6,592 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,592
Reviews: 2,595
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 259
Gots: 616 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,592 | Reviews: 2,595 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Rumlibeers:
Photo of Rumlibeers
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Rumlibeers, May 16, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl custom shorty with a bulbed neck. Best before date: 03/2003. Serve chilled.

Appearance: Cloudy (from escaped yeast) and pale. A grande creamy, chunk head adorns the top and sticks with great stay. The colour and head are perfection incarnate.

Smell: Delicate spice, pepper and clean malt sweetness.

Taste: Smooth and extremely creamy on the palate. A lively carbonation creates a light mouthfeel and crispness. Upfront flavours are bitter and sweet, with a lean on the sweet; distinct fruity malt esters, bold spiciness and rind-like twang that mellows and balances. Finishes slightly grain/dry with some residual spice and dextrin notes.

Notes: Deceivingly seductive and powerful. It lurs you with mesmerizing eye candy, then as the absolute refresher, then whacks the shite out of you with an 8.5% abv club. It's not called the "Devil" for nothing.

One of the best beers on the face of the Earth. Bow down to this god of beers.

Todd, Dec 06, 2000
Photo of JLSIV
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured beautiful slightly hazy straw color with a billowy, long lasting white head. Excellent lacing.
Clove like aroma, with peppery notes, taste is unique to this brand, almost pepper like with a good spice mix, some yeast in background. Mouthfeel is more dry than full, with a light warmth at the finish

Overall, this is worth the price and hype. Truly outstanding in all aspects

JLSIV, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml stubby brown bottle with a best before date of 09 2006. Quick tips on how to pour the beer as well as “Bottle Conditioned” on the label.

Appearance: A perfect amount of foamy head from a trained pour into the appropriate Duvel glass, the lace clings to the glass in patchy clumps. The clarity is great as the pouring went well and the yeast stayed in the glass. Very pale in colour, some would confuse this with a lager as far as the light golden hue.

Smell: Hints of apple skin (juicy fruit), clean alcohol and a slight yeast bite in the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Clean pale malt flavour throughout. Three big flashes of yeast, hop bitterness and alcohol hit the palate. Big cleansing crispness makes you want an other sip. A tad juicy in the middle, with a big warming alcohol landing middle to end. Mild medicinal phenols peak in the middle and nearly vanish as the alcohol takes over.

Notes: A top shelf brew, this one does it for me and then some. Pretty much sex in a bottle and the devil told me to drink it. Duvel is close to dry champagne but so much more. Between the bitterness and the sheer crispness, this beer is what I expect from the Belgian strong pale ale style.

Jason, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So here, we have this wonderful brew. No believe it or not, with over 800 reviews I had never done one for this. I was shocked when I noticed this, but to be honest it had been a long time since I had last had a bottle, so I knew I was going to have to pick up another one to be able to review it properly, which is just what I did on the way home last night. Got this 750 ml bottle and took it right out of the cooler section, put it on ice and brought t it home. Served it at around 50 degrees and poured it into a Rodenbach chalice all night to finish this one off.

Appearance - Poured an extremely vibrant and bright straw colored yellow. Very clear, I mean very clear, one of the clearest beers I have seen. An absolutely enormous amount of carbonation on this one. In fact, when I popped the cork it damn near woke up my son. This was a seriously well-carbonated beverage if I have ever seen one. A huge white head, pretty much immeasurable formed across the top and spilled over the sides of the glass coating everything in huge frothy bubbles. This would not fade at all, and I mean at all. There was just a huge pillow like layer of foam across the top of this throughout the session, and it must have literally took close to seven pours before I could fit the whole bottle into glasses. It just would not give up. Huge side glass presentation, leaving sticky blobs of foam pretty much everywhere throughout the glass. The carbonation bubbles were streaming up from the bottom of the glass so quickly and in such abundance, if I did not know better I would have thought it was champagne. Overall, I was very impressed with the look of this one, I could see why people rave about it!

Smell - The aroma was very light and airy, and to be honest much fruitier then I thought it would be, which came as a bit of a shock at first. I had expected a strong grainy Belgian pale, but this was quite nice and light. Waves of light fruit and light grain came over me all at once. Hints of light pear aromas, mixed in with apples were now commonplace. A nice light alcohol smell mixing in and giving it a little bit of depth and letting you know this was quite a bit bigger then you thought it was. Very light cereal and earthy grains coming on now, and just a touch of something sour sitting off in the background, not too strong, just maybe a hint of grapes. Not bad overall, and much lighter then I would have thought.

Taste - The flavored followed along the taste perfectly. A wonderfully light mixture of soft bright fruit flavors that was layered on top of a light alcohol warming with ample amounts of fresh light grains thrown in. Hints of pears and apples were more then abundant here and were really showing off how well this was put together. A nice light cereal grain was the backbone, blended seamlessly with the yeast and a nice light grassy flavor. Some hints at a light sour grape were near the end of it. The finish was very quick and clean, but very dry. It was a weird champagne like dry if you know what I mean, just kinda leaving it all out there.

Mouthfeel - The feel on this was superb as well. Really one of the lightest, and definitely one of the most highly carbonated beverages I have ever had. A very nice blend of flavors really hid the alcohol well and I could have just kept on going with this one as it was just effortless.

Drinkability - As for a nice strong Belgian, this was about as sessionable as you can get. Light flavors were abundant here, really being very bright and expressive and allowing it to be refreshing at the same time that you could be exploratory with the flavors. Really quite well put together and I would have definitely had another when I was done.

Overall, I thought this was outstanding. Now is it worth the hype and the high rating, hard to say. Something does not get such a high ranking after almost 1200 reviews without having something going for it. Are there better ales out there, sure there are, but this is a classic, and will always be. If you are looking to introduce someone to the style this would work perfectly.

mikesgroove, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Everytime I open a bottle I am always asking, "Now why is this not the best beer in the world?" There are few beers that single-handedly define the style ideally. Duvel does it as well as any other beer.

A careful pour is needed as the beer's head fills the chalice at about twice the pace of the liquid itself. Medium straw and with brilliant clarity. The carbonation contiunes to build a head that is shows great stability, longevity and airiness. The beer leaves impressive lacing thoughout the session.

Moderate, yet complex aromas of fruity pears along with sharp acrid scents of under-rippened berries and apples. Softer pilsner malts soon find the olfactories, giving a firm malty base for the esters, acidity, and spices. Noble hops give a perfume and lemongrass note that again gives complexity while balancing the malts. Spiced with subtle white pepper and zesty alcohols, this beer takes on a ligtly vineous, berry-like, citrusy, lightly tart taste. Again the hop flavor perplexes the taste with a light earthiness that complements the fruits with vibrant lemmon counterparts.

The beer is as dry in the body as a beer can be without getting chalky or powdery. Acidity cleanses the palate very well. The beer expands wonderfully in the mouth with its abundance of controlled carbonation, yet evaporates with a cotton-candy like whimsy. Alcohols accentuate the carbonation and accompany the spiciness into the finish. Effortless to drink and dangerously smooth.

The beer is basically ideal!

BEERchitect, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear pale gold color with a HUGE 1.5 to 2 inch head that fades to about 1 inch. Super perfect pillowy head and nice ring lacing. Probably the best head I have seen on a beer thus far in my beer drinking adventure.

S - Nice spices, peppercorns, subtle fruits, sweet malt.

T - Mainly sweet malts, very little bitterness, mild spices. Some subtle apple fruit taste shows through. A dry champagne like essence is present as well.

M - Perfect amount of carbonation made for small bubbles rising in my glass over the life span of this beer (which wasn't very long). Dry and crisp like champagne.

D - This is one of the best beers I have ever had. I have tried other beers in this same style but this is by far the best of the bunch. A remarkable beer that I will come back to for life.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of Gilbert1956
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Outstanding beer; strong refreshing hop taste to the end.

Gilbert1956, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before January 2014. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - Three fingers of creamy white foam settle to a thick meringue of a cap, leaving splotch intricate lacework. Body is a lightly hazed white peach flesh color, with streams of bubbles visibly streaming upwards. Reference quality appearance for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, grains of paradise, some light stone and citrus fruit sweetness, hint of banana, lightly buttery pilsner malt and grain character, and a touch of candi sugar. There's perhaps a hint of alcohol present as it warms up.

T - Citrus and stone fruit character is a bit more pronounced, but otherwise the flavor is a bit more smoothed out. Grain, spicy Belgian yeast, pilsner malt. Not as sweet as the aroma. No alcohol in the flavor whatsoever.

M - The carbonation is harsh and mildly unpleasant, even when you take the style into account. Grainy, dry texture, minimal alcohol warmth, medium body, with only minimal stickiness in the finish.

D - A very good Belgian beer made on an impressively large scale. While there are other takes on the style that I prefer I would happily have this without complaint. Very easy to drink considering the higher ABV - guess the name is appropriate.

MasterSki, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a real nice pour, a straw color with a huge rocky head that sticks very nice to my glass,aroma is spicey and very yeasty.The taste is fruity with definent yeast flavors and some very spicey notes,a truley enjoyable complex beer.A world classic Iam glad I finally got the chance to try this beer.

oberon, Aug 11, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden in colour, large white head. Nicely hopped nose. This beer goes down like a champagne, well carbonated, with a dry finish. A nice balance of hops and an alcohol kick that is hidden in the wonderful mouthfeel of this classic. be careful, this one will sneak up on you!

Popsinc, Nov 17, 2002
Photo of davemarc87
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

davemarc87, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very light colored (yellow) for a BSPA. The head is monstrous even with a conservative pour. I emptied the bottle in my glass, went upstairs to watch the top half of a Mariner’s inning, came back downstairs, and it was still there.

Smell – A complex aroma. I can pick up some fruit, malt, and yeast. Pleasant.

Taste – The light appearance is deceptive. This is a heavy hitter, and it’s not just malt, yeast, and light fruit. You have to wait for it, but there’s nice spicy bitterness and even some evident hops past the crest of the standard BSPA flavors.

Not to go overboard, but this is a good brew. It is fun and complex. I know that it is sold at thousands of grocery stores around the country and I may sound like a bumpkin for belaboring the point, but The Devil is very interesting indeed. I have often dismissed it myself in the past (thinking of it in the 3.0 or 3.5 area), until I actually sat down and took some time with it for the review.

Mouthfeel – Again, this is right on. Well carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability – The bottle didn’t even make it to the end of the review. So what if half the Bud-drinking losers you know have it in their fridge's – it’s great!

Comments – I really developed an appreciation and respect for this beer after taking my time with it. This is well done.

PS: Large amounts of sediment that I'm not supposed to drink - but I do.

Update: A sampling of this in 2004 shows amazing consistancy. After sporting a gorgeous appearance from several different bottles I’m upping this rating by 0.5.

RoyalT, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

cam477, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of beerhunter13
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

beerhunter13, May 19, 2013
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

DanGeo, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale, golden-straw color with a humongous, pillowy white head that lasts for an incredible amount of time and leaves decent lacing. This is truly a great looking beer, and you'll be getting a foam-mustache when you take a sip for almost the entirety of the brew.

The aroma is strong fruity esters, banana, pears, apple skins - crisp and refreshing tone. Light clove spice and bubblegum is present, thanks to the Belgian yeast strain, although it isn't overdone or overpowering. Some light hops on the nose, grassy, dry, musky. I love the clashing between mildly tart and a bit spicy; it works well together and is executed nicely here.

The taste is certainly no slouch - Duvel often gets pegged as one of the quintessential BSPAs, and it's hard to disagree with that upon tasting it. A combination of pears, apple skins, bananas, cloves, gum, yeast, breadiness, and light hops all hit your taste buds at once, in seemingly perfect harmony. The initial sweetness from the malts is never too high, but always inviting as it slowly turns into a light hop bitterness by the end of the sip.

Crisp and light on the mouth feel, high carbonation almost causes the beer to evaporate in your mouth while just the flavors remain intact. Alcohol does nothing more than provide a slight warming background, and even then, it's only really noticeable as the beer warms up - very impressive despite being 8.5% ABV.

Duvel is a great example of the style, and it's certainly the beer you want to start off with when introducing someone new to BSPAs. All around, it contains the flavors you expect from a Belgian ale, but handles them in a nearly perfect way. Don't pass this one up, you'll be sorry you did.

tectactoe, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of ricke
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving date: 2009-01-26. Served in tulip.

Presentation: 330 ml bottle with freshness date on label (Best before September 2011). Some brief recommendations on serving temperature and pouring procedure on the label.

Appearance: A very pale golden yellow, basically totally clear as most of the yeast stayed in the bottle. Despite a gentle pour, the white head is enormous and rocky with big bubbles in the foam. Incredible head retention with big chunky lacings on the glass. The production of bubbles in the brew seems endless.

Smell: Lemon, ripe green apples and a distinct yeast aroma.

Taste: More lemon and fruit - mostly apples. Some sweet malts becomes present just for a little while. Then, a more sour fruitiness develops in tandem with some spices just before the finish. Here, a slight perfumy character becomes evident as well. The semi-dry finish is subtle but distinct with a nice mix of gentle bitter hops, more sour notes and a complementary sting from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Light body, but the head provides creamy foam to every sip more than halfway through the beer. The seemingly endless carbonation provides pleasant bubbles. All in all, a nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This beer is truly well-balanced, but still bold with fantastic flavors. However, I would say that it's in the drinkability department that this one truly excels: it just drinks very very well. Of course, the alcohol will sooner of later take its toll, but it should be noted that it's not before the very end that the taste of alcohol becomes prominent.

ricke, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -6.1%

t2grogan, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into an oversized wine glass (boy, I wish I had the proper Duvel tulip...). Love the advice on the label to "pour unhurriedly."

A: Pours a clear gold with a GIANT fluffy head. That's about as big as it gets. Some great, sticky lacing covers the sides of the glass. The tiny carbonation bubbles are racing from the bottom of the glass upward as if to say "I can't wait to get in your mouth!" Don't worry, tiny bubbles, you soon will.

S: Yeasty, fruity freshness with a bit of a peppery spice thrown in there for good measure. Just a great, crisp bouquet. There is some sort of poetic juxtaposition between how crisp and clean the smell is and how clumpy and sticky the head is. I'll let the scholars figure that one out. This is an intriguing beer to be sure. Let's drink some.

T: Wow. That has a lot going on. I can really taste each component ingredient in clear waves. First, the bready yeast takes center stage, followed by the sweet, fruity pale malts, then finished off by the dry, spicy hops. I really appreciate how well-crafted this is.

M: Very enjoyable. A nice, crisp feel that starts medium-robust and bready and ends very dry and clean.

D: Excellent, based on the overall lightness of the mouthfeel, the full flavor, and the clean finish. I could certainly have a couple of these. The abv is sneaky, though. I certainly felt the 8.5% by the end of my tasting.

TCHopCraver, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Zakk, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of brownbeer
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into the Duvel glass.

A- Brilliant golden with a thick, rocky white head that lasts well after the beer is gone. Looks as good as this style possibly could.

S- Earthy hay, pear, Czech hops, Belgian yeast esters.

T- A touch of pale malt sweetness up front, fades to pear and tropical fruit about midway, and finishes with a slight alcohol bite and hoppiness. The yeast plays a big roll here.

M- A lot of carbonation but doesn't distract. Tastes even better as it opens up.

D- Not much to dislike with this. Simple ingredients, damn drinkable for the strength, well made.

brownbeer, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of bluesoul
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Mea culpa, being rather new to the field of beer and without all the requisite glassware, this Duvel was poured into a standard 16 oz. pint glass. This, of course, did not work as a full four finger-high head of foam with a look and consistency of white meringue hit the rim before I was even done pouring, so I let it sit for a few minutes and got the other 3 oz. or so in there. It really is a thing of beauty, a nice gold though opaque for me as I found out about the yeast all too late, and superb lacing, leaving bands down the glass.

S - Slightly sweet but with a pretty strong malt note as if to signal you're about to drink a big beer. I don't think I'd have been confident enough in the banana note to mention it without seeing the other citations of it on here so it's here but I wouldn't call it in the forefront. Rather nice.

T - I've gotta say it's slightly tart, and I can't pick much out in particular except the alcohol hitting the back of the throat on the finish, a byproduct of the above-average ABV. It's rather dry, like a champagne almost. Finish is very clean (dry) with no bitterness to speak of, just that slight alcohol tinge that I'd wager you'll notice less and less as you drink it, but if you're used to lower ABVs I'd say it'll be detectable but likely not a show-stopper for you. As soon as it was gone I felt myself wanting one more sip.

M - Carbonation seems just a bit weak to me, maybe just because I'm expecting a ton with this massive head. Body would be fairly full and creamy, partly because you'll likely have quite a bit of foam with every sip. Hits a sweet spot in cellaring temperature, and then seems to get progressively heavier as it warms (or as you imbibe the 8.5% ABV).

D - I have to say, I like this beer quite a bit, but the high ABV will likely knock you on your butt before you can really have a "session" with these. I'm a relative novice to beer and this could well be a "gateway beer" out of macros and into beer nirvana. I will say that I sampled two other beers today and about 2/3 of the way through the Duvel I would say drunk is a pretty appropriate term at the moment.

For those in Louisville or Lexington, Liquor Barn sells these as singles for a dollar, as opposed to the $3 or $4 you'd normally pay or $6 in bars like O'Sheas or Nachtbar. At a buck it's probably one of the best beer values around.

bluesoul, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of weatherdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl stubby bottle into a Duvel branded tulip. Bottle has a best before date of 07/2012.

Pours a crystal clear golden straw with a billowing 4 finger white head that filled the rest of the glass. It receded in about a minute to a nice protective layer upon the beer. With each sip new lacing can be seen on the sides of the glass.

Smells almost of a clean crisp lager. I'm just detecting just a little bit of Belgian yeast character.

Taste is near perfection and what I look for in a great pale Belgian. It has this great pilsner malt taste with just a enough floral hops to balance it. The yeast character is complex and so interesting. There is this restrained appleish fruitiness that still lets the malt shine but exhibits its flavors in the background.

The high carbonation fits perfectly and adds to the crispness of the beer. It goes down like water and leaves you wanting more and more.

I'm assuming this is a relatively young Duvel as the best buy date is 2.5 years out and this bottle is from a Christmas gift pack so I'm very interested to see how the flavor profile changes in 1 year, 2 years and maybe even 3 years.

weatherdog, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

tbryan5, Jan 05, 2013
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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 6,592 ratings.