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Duvel | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

2,755 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

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Reviews: 2,755 | Ratings: 7,662
Photo of Trentonator
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What a head! This thing looked like a junior high science class volcano project, the head was a good inch above the rim of the glass, with no spillage. The initial taste had some bite to it, you know this beer has some serious ETOH. I liked the smooth taste and mouthfeel, it had a bit of a rubbing alcohol aroma to it though. Overall, I liked this beer, just didn't fall in love with it.

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Photo of slushthelush
2.8/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer looked very good going into the glass. It had a great white head on it. The aroma was very noticable. This was the first time I have ever experienced a Belgian Strong Ale. I guess I just don't care for the sour aftertase which I believe is typical of the style. I am sure it is a great beer it's class. It is just not for me.

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Photo of Shaw
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cork on my 750 mL bottle of Duvel blasted off like a rocket across my kitchen and bounced off the wall almost five feet away. I consider that a fortutious sign.

This ale is a brillant golden color with a large frothy super-white head and tons of carbonation. The head does shrink a bit but it leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

Duvel smells of grain (not quite malt) and alcohol. No hop aroma.

I can't believe I've been enjoying this style of beer without knowing that Duvel is the original Belgian strong pale ale. Shame on me. Well of course Duvel tastes good. It is crisp and sharp with noticable alcohol. I'd say the flavor is a bit more subtle than Lucifer, another one of my favorites in this style.

The mouthfeel is super bubbly, what with all the carbonation. Duvel practically explodes with fizziness in my mouth. It also has a fairly light body with a bit of slickness from the alcohol.

Overall a very good beer. If you enjoy La Fin Du Monde, Rare Vos and others, try the ale that inspired 'em all.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a few 33 cL bottles of this for a bargain. I brought them home and whipped out the Duvel tulip glasses, which are the only way to drink this beer. This guy pours out a beautiful pale golden color, and has the most incredible fluffy white head billow atop of the beer. There's instructions on how to pour it so that it does that too. Just in case. The smell is of active little hop, some citrus, small fermented esters. The taste is wonderful. Can something be rich and light? It glides easy, with clean feel. Again, light citrus and hop prescence with a very clean malt to give structure. Interesting spice notes play with the body of the beer. No way you'd know about its high ABV. This is the best looking beer on the planet, and among the best tasting. They're not just being cocky when the last of the pouring instructions tells you "Enjoy perfection."

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Photo of luigi205
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is my all time favorite. It pours frothy. Has a wonderful aroma and taste. It is a heavy beer, so I wouldn't recommend it with a big meal. The ABV of 8.5% seems low - this beer has quite a kick to it, so be sure to have something light to eat with it.


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Photo of rdrummer
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy, pale, golden ale with a large white head and vigorous carbonation. This smells great with a peppery maltiness and some spiciness underlaying it. The aroma is evident as soon as the bottle is opened. The taste is a clean, malty ale with almost no bitterness, and a hint of sweetness. There are spices present that I have a hard identifying but this is a powerful elixir. It has a clean, bubbly feel in the mouth and then the alcohol hits. It is excellent from the first drop to the last. It gets more drinkable as it warms up. The only drawback is my inability to drink more than one due to the alcohol content, but I'll be back tomorrow.

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Photo of ark57
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It is a clear, pale golden color with a big, fluffy head. The aroma has some delicate hops with a touch of citrus. It is smooth and light. The finish is a spicy, crisp dryness. It is refreshing and wonderful, and it goes down so easily despite its high alcohol.

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Photo of soper2000
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle
Let me preface this by saying this is my favorite beer. It pours to a crisp golden hue which is protected by a massive white head. Champagne like bubbles rapidly race to the surface of this beer. Aroma is of spice but with some notes of yeast. The taste is clean and yeasty but balanced well with some spicey aftertaste. I thought the 750 ml bottle had less hoppiness than I am used to in the 33 cl bottles. The same duvel character remained though. Mouthfeel is exceptional as this beer goes down creamy and bubbly. Drinkability is also amazing considering the massive alcohol content of this brew. I wish I could have more than a couple of these in a night and still feel fine the next morning. This beer is a true masterpiece in my mind.

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Photo of Dmann
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very interesting beer. This one poured a pale yellow color with a really nice frothy white head that left little specks of lace down the glass. The smell was quite unique, with a slightly bitter apple scent and a grainyness to it as well. The taste was quite dry like champagne but with better flavor. The apple scent came out slightly in the flavor but I mostly detected a peppery spice which was very nicely paired with the bubbly mouthfeel. This is definanlty not a beer that I could drink all of the time, but I think it would pair well with many meals and would convert some wine and champagne lovers to beer as well.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Duvel pours with a giant head that takes a long long time to diminish. Almost whipped cream-like. The beer is a cloudy golden color. Nose is full of hops and spice. Taste is very bitter, with some finishing sweetness with a slight bready flavor. A true classic, served best cold unlike most Belgians.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I pour this into the logo tulip glass that I acquired with the beers. THe brew is a very clear yellow similar to a pilsner in appearance. The head is bleached white and foams up easily. Fades very slowly and looks almost marshmallowy as it settles. I have one column of bubbles rising in the center of the glass this seems almost planned.
Aroma is some bready yeast scents, pepery hops, maybe some cloves and a hit of alcohol too.
First sip gives me rather sharp bubbly carbonation and average body. The flavor improves as it warms with a slight sweet malt flavor first, some general spiciness in the middle, and a crisp mild hop finish.
Verysmooth and drinkable and no taste of the 8.5%.

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Photo of sprackops
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz capped bottle

Appearance: This one rushed out of the bottle with an enormous head that began to fizzle out after about five minutes. I left most of the yeast in the bottle. In the Duvel tulip it looks simply spectacular - bright gold with columns of carbonation rising to the top in a manner which appears much more controlled than other beers. This is supposedly an effect created by notches on the bottom of the glass. A very elegant effect.

Smell: Quite complex, with hints of coriander, pepper, yeast and various fruits from apples to citrus dominating at different times while enjoying the glass. Very nice.

Taste: Starts off sweet with a bit of yeast in background, balanced by a gentle but assertive tartness. The presence of crisp apple from before returns here, subtly obscured by the sweetness of candi sugar, coriander and herbal hops. The ABV is hidden very well. Perfect dry finish.

Mouthfeel: This is probably the creamiest pale beer I've had the pleasure of trying. Not nearly as heavy as something like an imperial stout, but this beer certainly has a unique presence. Level of carbonation is perfect for the style, in my opinion.

Drinkability: I could see people easily drinking themselves into stupors with this without realizing it. This makes for as easy drinking as a nice pilsner or wit, though it loses some points here as the ABV makes this one a poor session beer.

Before I had this one I'd heard it described as "beer crossed with champagne", and while that's a fine description for a layman, I'd have to say it's much better than that. I'd keep this one around 365 days a year if the price was right. Certainly in my top 20.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Expire date '06
This beer really likes its own glass.
Crystal clear, pale straw color w/ a billowing bright white head that drapes and blakets the cruve of the goblet.
Steady streeams of carbonation rocket to the top from the etched 'D" in the bottom.
Aroma is clean; light and spritzy - hints of vanilla , lemon zest and fresh rolls.
Sharp, saazy hop up front- tart and lemony. A bit of carb bite on the tongue gives way to medium bodied malt with a hint of melon sweetness. Then the hop takes charge w/ warm, peppery bittering through the finish.
Mellow, long, lingering dry aftertaste.
I bet this bottle would have been better w/ another year in the cellar. Classic Belgian Golden Ale.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a stubby bottle (just under 12 ounces) from the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Gigantic head -- fluffy, bright cloudy white. I've never seen lacing like this -- globs of foam literally clinging to the glass long after the head recedes!

Smell is of spices (corriander, pepper corns) encompassed by the sweetness of malts. A very big smell here. I also pick up on candied cherries and grapefruit rinds submerged in sugar.

Taste is a dense spicy maltiness, followed by a peppery hop and alcohol aftertaste. Quite rich and rewarding after waiting for the massive head to recede. Mouthfeel is heavy enough to deal with these big, bright flavors.

This beer deserves the hype!

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Photo of claytri
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel poured a cloudy effervesent light gold with two fingers of white head. It had an aroma of malt, fruit and flowers. The taste was sharp with hints of malt and good hop bite to it, a finish that had a mint and bananna taste to it. It was well bodied with a honeyish feel to it. This is a fine beer and the taste and body make you want to drink it in volume, the bite though encourages a little slower pace.

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Photo of JamesBerry
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale pour, with a monstrously large head (the bottle's "Pour Unhurriedly" caveat was no lie). Classic "Belgian" aroma: light and airy, yet bold and fairly spicy. There was a rather pleasing taste of bananas and fruit. Smooth, medium body. Slightly sour aftertaste.
All in all, tastes much the same as other beers of its kind, but certainly a genuine original.

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Photo of downes51
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Simple. It's the best beer in the world. First of all, the appearance... crystal clear sparkling pale yellow. I'm thirsty already.

Smell... subtle just about sums it up. Not in your face, but sniff it again and there is so much there!

Taste... subtle again. Think honey. Tobacco. Spice. (But all in the background). I want more. And more.

As for the texture... yes it's creamy, yeasty, thick and sooo refreshing.

I don't criticise but, much as you would like to, you just can't drink this stuff all day. Or not unless you are taking the next 2 days off work.

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Photo of ToolHead
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle, served in Duvel tulip.
Golden colour; mammoth head w/ good retention. This is one impressive-looking beer.
Delicate, flowery aroma. Very inviting.
Fresh, delicate, fruity taste. Ends up slightly dry in a long, pleasing finish. Hides the alcohol incredibly well.
Superlative mouthfeel and perilously drinkable.
A classic, and deservedly so. A beer I'll be returning to over and over again.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, mine had a white label and a tag explaining that this is the new label. But I'm assuming it's still the same great Ale.

The appearance was superior. A hazy bright gold, with a huge 3 finger white head of large bubbles. The head retained for almost the entire drinking experience. When the head did begin to recede a bit it left great lacing, picture perfect. In fact I just changed my appearance rating to 5. The smell was good. Very yeast filled and musty. It only lost points due to the alcohol which overpowered the others a bit. The taste was also exceptional. Grains, musty yeast, and some spiciness and alcohol in the background. I didn't taste the fruit notes in the middle that some have described, but I only had one. Alas, maybe next time. Mouthfeel was very good as well. Very carbonated, bubbles looked like they were being powered by a small motor. Extremely crisp. Drinkability was excellent as well. I wish I had more than one. Couldn't think of a better beer to drink to break into my 20th review.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Damn, Duvel always looks greats, especially sitting in a Duvel tulip glass. This beer poured a hazy, pale yellow with a stark white head that lept up out of the liquid. It easily reached over three fingers, even with a careful, down-the-side-of-the-glass pour. As it settled, it gave new meaning to the word rocky. It became an uneven landscape of dense, white foam and coarse bubbles. It took a very long time to dissipate, and never really disappeared since it was being fed from below by the "bead from hell." The streams of bubbles were so strong and numerous that it seemed as though gas was being forcibly injected into the bottom of the beer. An incredible amount of sticky lace was left behind. Beers just don't look any better than this.

Smell: Right after the pour, the aroma was a combination of fruit and spice (mainly pepper and coriander), with notes of yeast. As the head settled, some alcohol rose up to join the other smells, along with a light graininess. Also at this time, the fruitiness evolved into an aroma that was very apple-like.

Mouthfeel: For the amount of carbonation that was present in this beer, it was relatively smooth. There was a tingle on the tongue, but not nearly what I expected. It was thin-bodied and very dry, leaving me wanting more as soon as the beer had left my mouth.

Taste: Overall, the flavor was light and continued to build from the moment that the beer hit the tongue up through the aftertaste. Upfront, there was a fruity sweetness that became even sweeter (but not cloying) as the flavor progressed. Hints of malt and yeast flitted about upfront, with the malt flavor developing into the finish. There was a very light alcohol spiciness on the finish as well, but it was not as strong as one would expect from 8.5% abv in a relatively light beer. This beer could definitely sneak up and bite you if you aren't careful!

It has been quite awhile since I have had the oppurtunity to drink a Duvel. It disappeared from the Wichita market a number of years ago. It was one of my favorites in my early days of drinking real beer, and I am glad to see that my opinion has not changed. I do think that I like the larger bottles better, though. Not sure why, but they just seem to have a little more flavor and a little less dryness.

A big thanks to noclueaboutbeer for hauling this one out to Kansas all the way from Connecticut.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhhh, very good indeed. This beer has a classic feel to it that lives up to its classic status. The color is rather deceiving with its rather pale golden color. It looks much lighter than it truly is. The head is quite nice-good and sticky, snowy white and long lived. Aromas are fairly complex and inviting-malty, somewhat anteseptic and spice driven with some citrusy hop notes as well. The mouth feel is damn nice! Refreshing with good dryness and medium to full body, this is a solidly balanced drink-never flabby or sticky. Flavors are classic in that they cleanse with a sweet/spicy clove-corriander? and, banana like flavor much like a German Hefe, while at the same time offering Belgium richness and complexity which kicks the beer up a notch. This is like a Hefe Squared! Interesting how easy this beer is to drink-remarkable really! I will be re-visiting this brew with food very soon as it seems to offer great potential. As I drink it, probably too quickly, I feel I will discover the origin of the name...

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Photo of necoadam
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Duvel is one of the better beers out there. Appearance is a pale yellow with a huge head. Took a little while for it to settle down. But when it did, oh my! Smell consists of mainly yeast with some alcohol, but not much. Taste is out of this world. Starts out with some of that alcohol kick, but it's very well hidden with the yeast then finishes off with some apples/pears. 8.5% is a little to laugh at, you can't taste it at all. I wouldn't mind drinking this beer all day on a nice summer day outside. First class beer. I would recommend it.

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Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very slightly cloudy yellow with more than a few bubbles, looks like a good Lager.

Pleasant Spicy smell! Smells lightly of pears and perfume.

Very mild flavored, not too sweet at all. It .has a bit of woody tartness in the finish.

This is much drier than most Belgian strong pale ales. There is a bit of spice and fruitiness in this, but it is hard to pin down the exact taste.

Extremely pleasant! Taste more like "Beer" than most Belgian beers of this type, I really like it.

Mouthfeel is thicker than you would expect for such a pale colored beer. It is just about right, satisfying but no sensation that you need to chew it.

Drinkability is very good! I could drink one of these every night and be VERY happy!

A superior brew in all respects!

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer after dinner tonight. Poured in a Duvel glass with a huge fluffy white head that lasted the the entire beer. The color was a bright yellow, very clear and crisp looking. The smell was of fruit maybe pears and rather zesty and quite powerfull. The taste starts off fruity almost of green apples and turns to a bite of bitter in the end with a lasting aftertaste and a strong mouthfeel.

I was rather surprised that I was unable to detect any alchol taste being as its a strong beer. Its really well balanced beer and one that I will continue to enjoy.

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Photo of counselor
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased in a 4 pack with 2 sweet Duvel tulip glasses. Beer poured a pale straw with tall, fluffy head that lasted the whole beer. I agitated once in a while and released more and more carbination (and aroma). Aroma changed as it warmed, initially, cool crisp malts and as the beer warmed figs and plums fille dmy nose. The beer's taste also changed as it warmed. Initially crisp flavors of bananas, pears and grassy dry finish. Later, diacytle flavros abounded with adry lemon drop finish. Yeast flavors present thoughout also changed as the beer warmed to add to the overall enjoyment of this beer.

Most enjoyable and the abv well disguised amidst the many flavors present in this offering

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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 2,755 ratings.