Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,725 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,725
Hads: 7,542
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.39%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,342 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Belgium | website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale | 8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duvel Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,725 | Hads: 7,542
Photo of jim102864
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a gift package which included three 330 ml bottles and a deep and wide tulip glass, perfect for this and just about any Belgian. 8.5% abv. Golden yellow appearance with a mushroom cloud head which was whipped cream thick and snow white. Be paitent while pouring or the head will consume the entire glass. Very faint citrusy aroma. Taste was again light with only a hint of citrus which quickly fades in the finish. Mild mouthfeel. Lace drapes the glass from start to finish. An easy drinking Belgian and one I'd recommend for both the newly initiated to the style or seasoned fan.

 593 characters

Photo of Bashao
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours light and clear yellow from the bottle. Nice foam head that lasts long.

Smell: very strong hop aromas. Some flowery scent.

Taste: a bit sour with a bitter end. Highly carbonated.

Mouthfeel: medium body.

Overall: Good Belgium ale. I liked it.

Comments:the beer was poured into a snifter glass.not a Duvel glass.
Yeast residue in bottle.

 360 characters

Photo of Kevuas
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable beer. Very servicable to a 'novice' like myself, this beer was both clean and fresh. I was not impressed with the smell of the beer but the full rich taste more than made up for the SLIGHT offensiveness caused by the aroma. The book is definitely better than the cover here, and there is no reason to doubt this beer on your next purchase if you like ales or goldens or Belgian's of any kind. Truly a beer for all seasons and not disappointing in the least.

 474 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I've had this classic many a time before, but haven't yet reviewed it somehow (though I could swear I remember reviewing it in Holland). "Best before: 09/2015." 11.2 fl oz brown glass "snub" design glass with iconic label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Colorado beer store and served into a Duvel stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high. Props to Duvel for the pouring instructions - "Pour Unhurriedly." 8.5% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a four finger wide head of white colour. Disappointingly thin and airy. No real creaminess. Not as fluffy or soft as it should be. Head retention is good - about 5-6 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent clear pale gold of above average vibrance. Has some yellow and copper hues. Very clean; no floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing, classic appearance for a Belgian golden ale.

Sm: Starches, Belgian golden malts, clean crisp barley, floral hop character, and Belgian pale malts. Hints of vitamin-y biscuity yeast character. Sweetness seems perfect based on the aroma. Has a kiss of candi character and a faint trace of peppercorn. There's also a vague fruitiness - perhaps from the hops? As best I can tell, it's crisp ripe apple. The distinctly Belgian character of the yeast - the light fruitiness, the spiciness - is what really elevates the aroma for me.

No alcohol is detectable - a feat at 8.5%. If I smelled it blind, I'd guess it was maybe 5%. Wow.

It's an inviting, alive aroma of moderate strength.

T: Light starchiness is present, and doesn't work too well in this flavour profile. The bulk of the body is comprised of Belgian golden malts. Hop character is predominantly floral, with a kiss of fruitiness in there too - crisp apples and pears. The yeast is lightly biscuity and spicy, and definitely feels like a Belgian strain. Clean crisp barley lends it some added depth of flavour. Light clove and grassiness also make an appearance. Quite estery. Duration and intensity of flavour are average for the style.

What's amazing here is how well the beer hides its ABV; I'd never guess this was 8.5%. Dangerously downable stuff.

It's also very well balanced, and boasts some impressibe subtlety. Decent complexity. It could be more intricate and nuanced.

Mf: Could be softer. It's nicely smooth and dry, and is well-carbonated. Aptly medium-bodied, with perfect thickness given the flavour profile. Very good presence on the palate; it's almost fleetingly light - which greatly aids drinkability. Not as crisp or ripe as many beers in the style; it's a bit more subdued. Effervescent. The texture complements the taste well, but isn't quite ideal. There's room for improvement.

Not oily, gushed, harsh, hot, boozy, astringent, or rough.

Dr: Extremely drinkable - especially for the ABV. Every time I drink it, I'm shocked how quickly it disappears from my glass. Undoubtedly a classic beer in a demanding style, Duvel remains one of the beers you have to try if you're an enthusiast. It's one of the best in its class and is absolutely a style-defining beer, but I don't know that it's the best Belgian golden ale out there. Still, I could happily kill 12 of these in a night without getting tired of it and definitely plan on picking it up again in the future. I can see why it's in the top 100, but I don't know that it's amongst the best 100 beers I've had personally. What sets it apart for me isn't the taste necessarily, but more its incredibly light feel and dangerous drinkability. This is the definition of easy drinking.

Probably the best widely available beer in the world, period.


 3,894 characters

Photo of Lldeegan
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass I just got in the mail from BeerGeekShop.com
Poured a golden hazy straw with massive billowy stark white head. It looks like a beer should. The head on this beer left me in awe. Leaves chunky lacing as the head retreats.
Smells of fruity and sour, is reminiscent of a saison or a weak gueuze. This sour does not really translate into the taste of this beer, only a slight tartness on the back end.
This beer tastes balances grain and fruit pretty well. The grain from the malt is what strikes the palate first with a bread ike characteristic then the fruit makes itself apparent as the beer creeps back. The fruit tastes like a bitter and sour green apple, maybe even the tart twang of a white grape. Nice dry finish.
Lively beer in the mouth. High carbonation, very light, with a dry finish
I enjoyed this beer, but I think it is better suited for an earlier time of day. I picture it best to be enjoyed in the early afternoon overlooking some rolling hills in the countryside. The light grain character to it makes it refreshing like a good Pilsener. The malt and the hop are very balanced, in accordance to the style. They are so well balanced in fact, initially it was hard to discern where one ended and one began.
This is a nice refreshing beer to have, but not entirely sessionable, a little too much carbonation and at 8.1%, I don't think you want to be drinking these all day, or the Duvel in you might come out.

 1,447 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap in a pub in Utrecht. The beer had a nice golden yellow color, with a three finger thick fluffy bright-white head, that stayed there during the drinking.

Smell: fruity, spicy, alcoholic, and some smell I couldn't define, a bit like sour sewer water.

Taste: a mixture of apple cider and champagne, fresh taste! A bit sour-bitter hoppy after taste. Spicy and some hints of alcohol

Mouthfeel: thin and smooth. Medium high carbonation
Overall a nice refreshing beer. Not my favourite because of the smell, but will never refuse one.

 555 characters

Photo of markaberrant
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in 20oz stemless red wine glass.

A - Yellow, just bordering on orange. Crystal clear, tons of carbonation. The most delicate looking head I've ever seen, pillowy and white, thick and longlasting. Beautiful.

S - clean spice, light malt sweetness. Somewhat subdued, but pleasant.

T - The first sip explodes in the mouth, overwhelming me... very bold profile. Sweetness is quite low and it has a very dry finish. I'm finding it hard to describe the distinct flavours... also has a bit of an alcohol note.

M - Almost champagne like. Sprtizy, light and dry.

D - While the dryness keeps things refreshing, I find it mutes the overall flavour.

This is a good beer, but not my favourite Belgian. Gets better as it warms up.

 740 characters

Photo of drewba
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Bright translucent yellow with a fluffy white head that doesn't go away. It looks very inviting, crisp, I'm half expecting the head to turn into a hand and start waving at me.

S - subtle pepper, moderate amount of lemon and orange peel, tons of yeasty yeast,

T - stale lemon juice, lemon & orange peel, clove, tons of fruity & sweet yeast, banana bread.

M - Crisp, lively, bubbly carbonation, well done.

O - The yeast character really takes over, which isn't really my bag, but the citrus character and solid mouthfeel are keeping me interested.

 556 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Duvel is a slightly opaque but very sparkly straw-colored ale with a huge, fluffy, rocky white head. The aroma is of dough, moist towels, citrus and a slight banana/clove. It's silky smooth and medium bodied. Many things are lurking in this unique flavor. Vanilla, black pepper and perhaps apple peel. It's a classic for a reason!
(rated Mar 22, 2007)

 351 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Duvel pours a cloudy yellow with hints of orange and an incredibly massive foamy head. I was pouring slowly and the head simply erupted. Looks nice in the glass...almost the same as on the bottle...and it's not going anywhere. The smell has a spicy peppery hint to it along with a nice pale malt profile. Hints of alcohol and floral hops come through in the nose.

The first taste is wonderfully smooth with a nice malt profile and hints of peppery spice. There are some light citrus tones as well...and as I drink some nice lacing begins to build up on my glass. Hops balance out the brew well. The yeast seems to impart a sort of outdoor/earthy flavor on my tounge as well. Overall good flavor on this one.

The mouthfeel is good, but there is a bit too much carbonation for me here. Seems a little too fizzy going down. Otherwise it is very smooth. Drinkability is good as well and I could see myself having a few of these.

 931 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Maybe a little too much hype. Pours clear gold with the big white, fluffy head. Aroma is yeasty and sweet with sugar. Taste is the same, kind of like a tripel. Very rich and strong flavors, maybe too much. Its really good, but I don't really want it again.

 264 characters

Photo of Scottsan
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a "big" 25-ounce(ish) bottle.

Nice, pillow-y head (solid . . . and seemingly eternal). The appearance (pale golden yellow) and smell are very attractive. The mouthfeel is very light, as is the flavor . . . sweet up front and progressively more bitter at the finish.

I was really surprised by this . . . not really excited by the prospect of a Belgian beer (was a gift). I'd buy this in the future (should I see it).

 431 characters

Photo of Damian
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA

Poured a somewhat hazy, light straw with a huge, five-finger bubbly head. The resulting chunks of froth eventually faded to a dollop of foam in the middle of the glass, which lasted for most of the drink. Tons of bubbly, sticking lacing throughout.

Smell was of smooth Saaz hops. Grassy and hay-like notes were apparent. Clean and fresh like the countryside. Some alcohol noticeable as well. The aromas became gradually more intense as the beer warmed.

Taste was hoppy as well (Saaz hops), with an astringent alcohol bite. Some alcohol warming throughout the entire mouth. Peppery notes were detectable along with a slight grainyness. Crisp, clean, snappy hop finish, but not as dry as expected.

Mouthfeel was medium-light. Carbonation was somewhat heavy and tickled the tongue.

This is a nice beer to pair with fish. It is fairly easy drinking regardless of the fact that the alcohol can become a bit overwhelming.

 997 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've had this one in the fridge for a while now and I've been excited to try it, so here goes. Poured from one of the funkiest little bottles I've ever seen into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very pale, light yellow straw-like color with a massive three finger head that is so fluffy that it looks like a merengue with incredible retention (seriously, the retention is so strong that I almost want to deduct points because it's making me wait so long to actually sip this beer); body is suprisingly clear and shows super strong carbonation;

Smell: An interesting smell emanates from my glass, as I definitely pick up a strong presence of yeast, but there is something very grainy and familiar about it as well so as I read the bottle, I see it is brewed with pilsener malts, so it all falls into place as it is very reminiscent of a pilsner in scent; light fruity esters that are a bit like apple, but a hint smoother and don't seem quite as acidic; and light notes of spices as well.

Taste: Yeast, a bit of a grassy and bitter hop presence as well; very grainy malt presence; very subdued spice notes. Not as rich as I would have expected and the spices are definitely downplayed -- much more of a bitter and earthy presence. It's still quite good, just not what I was expecting. Aftertaste is especially bitter and the alcohol becomes more of a presence as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Full of carbonation, a slightly drying effect on the roof of the mouth in the back and slight stickiness over the rest; belly is warmed quite nicely from the alcohol.

Drinkability: It's not too bad, I guess I have found a preference for other Belgians though that don't have quite the bitter preference. It's got a nice flavor and a beautiful appearance, but the ABV is a bit high for too many of these in a row, plus, it's a bit on the pricey side.

 1,836 characters

Photo of markpiazza
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very nice tasting beer. Kind of fruity taste. The only problem is that my buddy bought a 4 pack and 3 of the 4 as soon as opening them overflowed terribly. Why is that with this beer. If it wasnt for that this would be a regular in our beer fridge. now im not sure of getting this one again.

 291 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a pale/white color with a generous head of foam. Aroma is one of fruit, especially apple, mixed in with spice. The taste is somewhat subdued with hints of apple and spice melting away into an aftertaste that is somewhat smooth and thin. It's somewhat smooth and drinkable when it gets to the back of the throat that is.

Overall, pretty well balanced for such a strong beer. For some reason, I feel the mouthfeel falls flat.

 437 characters

Photo of LesStewart
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great though I don't know if it's worth the difference in price that it often manifests. This was the first beer that I tried in North Carolina that was greater than 6.5% alcohol as that we just passed out "Pop the Cap" bill allowing for a rush of new, often wonderful, beers

 275 characters

Photo of DV8HARD
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I served it in a Pilsener glass and wow, the head was at least 5 fingers. I should have paid attention to the label "pour slowly". The foam really sticks to the glass like no other beer. It is very light in color but, not golden, more like a hazy yellow which is appealing.

When it comes to taste the first thing noticed is the alcohol. It really packs a punch, it's difficult at first to make out the flavors because of it. The most prominant tastes are that of honey and malt.

I would recommend this beer.

 510 characters

Photo of Midway
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - No smoke, very little lacing, very creamy looking head, the ale itself was a hazy/musty golden colour.

Smell - Slighty sweet, Strongish and very slighty bitterish.

Taste - Bitter and Strong.

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated, light.

Drinkability - Ok consumption, nice ale, would have again.

 302 characters

Photo of hseritt
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came with a tulip glass. While pouring I found the foam to rise extremely fast causing me to wonder if perhaps I was pouring it wrong. The head actually dissipated quickly and left a very nice lacing. I did notice that when I first poured the beer was very clear-looking especially for a high alcohol one. After pouring though, the color came to a very nice golden color.

The smell was very good. It gave a very good but not overwhelming hoppy smell. The smell revealed something vaguely underneath waiting to show itself.

Very surprisingly the taste waiting to come forth was something similar to a lightly sweet berry taste. Much of the alcohol though held the berry foretaste from coming through completely. There were also hints of other tastes like bananas and orange but very light.

My glass of Duvel really had a nice light feel to it. Not too much but definitely not a flaccid feel.

Honestly, this is probably not a beer I would buy a lot of at a bar (the price at Lassiter's Tavern in Atlanta for this was $7USD a bottle!). I would definitely buy this one occasionally from a good beer store. If someone had this at their house and offered it freely, I'd happily drink it though.

 1,200 characters

Photo of Litterbean
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw like yellow with an orange hue. Big fluffy head.

Smells of yeast and grassy hops. Underneath there's hints of sugary sweetness and fruit notes.

Crisp, clean taste. Pear, apple, and some faint orange in there. The use of pilsner malts is apparent. A leafy hop taste balances it out.

Good carbonated mouthfeel, and a smooth sipper. Not bad at all.

 368 characters

3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Duvel Oversized Tulip glass. Bright gold color, clear appearance. White, foamy & close crown, thick layer head & lasting lacing rings. Belgian yeast, pale malt, deep herbal, slight spiced & sugary aromas. Malty, crisp & hoppy upfront. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Dense texture. Hints of ripe fruit, honey & citric zest in the middle. Well integrated high ABV. Well balanced malts & hops slightly tend to a bitter finish. Fruity aftertaste.

 468 characters

Photo of Derek
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, slight yellow hue. Tons of fluffy, white head, decent retention. The lace really looks like lace!

S: Bready, pilsner malt. Clean hop aroma.

T: Bready, pilsner malt. Fruity yeast profile, with a touch of earthyness. It's a little cidery, though the alcohol is well hidden. Very well balanced... starting slightly sweet, with a crisp, slightly tart finish.

M: Moderate body, moderately high carbonation.

D: Should be approachable/enjoyable by all. Not a session brew though.

 503 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow this beer has the biggest head ever. Pours a very pale lager yellow with a foamy monster that looks like marshmellows expanding. The lacing is clumpy mounds. Smell is rather clean to the nose, slight yeast smell, fruit notes bring up the rear. The taste is a blast of yeast, I detect light malts and a mild hop bitterness. Very refreshing, a light bodied ale, very drinkable, and that is scary with this monster being 8.5%

 426 characters

Photo of Shadman
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you wait for the head to disappear on this brew before drinking it you may want to take out a life insurance policy because you'll be waiting awhile. Hazy/cloudy straw yellow coloe. White as snow head. Great lacing.

Smell is sort of average to my nose. Fruity with a definite green apple characteristic. Certainly has that Belgain yeatiness to it as well as the smell of good old alcohol.

For such a strong beer it tasted quite nice. Big malts up front followed by a certain yeastiness. Hop prevalent in the middle and in the aftertaste. Alcohol warms up the palate and tongue in the finish along with a nice dryness. Oh, and as others have mention, watch out for the kick.

Considering how fizzy it was upon pouring, I thought it would be a lot more like champagne that beer. Thankfully it was not.

Certainly a well brewed beer and it lends to my ongoing joke about why the German's occupying Belgium probably got fat and lazy drinking this and others given the high ABV. Not a beer that everyone while enjoy, but a neat experience none-the-less.

 1,053 characters

Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 2,725 ratings.