1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Not Rated.
DuvelDuvel

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

6,550 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,550
Reviews: 2,593
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 12%
Wants: 253
Gots: 591 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duvel Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,550 | Reviews: 2,593 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say right off the bat that my bottle of Duvel exploded when I CAREFULLY popped the cap - I am left with literally half a bottle and am kind of hacked off about that. Otherwise....

A: Pale, straw yellow color that is cloudy and has light effervesence. BIG head - my glass has been 80% head the entire time - that seems to have a delicious life of it's own. As the liquid in the glass is consumed, the lacing from the head holds it's territory on the glass. Nice!

S: Strangely, this does not smell like beer. It smells like a mix of champange and pop.

T: The taste is incredible. It's a light-sweet, banana...banana bread, but not as bready as banana bread. It's faintly bready, but it's sweeter than breadier. It's damn delicious.

M: Smooth, milky, creamy. This beer definitely packs some carbonation and I'm not sure how it's not prickling the heck out of my tongue but it's not.

D: This is now (I say this way too oft) my favorite beer. It's damn delicious, light enough to be drinkable yet isn't forgettable. It packs a nice alcohol punch but on the down-low...it's so effortless. My absolute favorite of favorites....

cindiwindi1025, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one fantastic looking beer. Hazy yellow body with just a few yeast particles that escaped from the pour. Dvuel boasts a huge, solid white head that is thick and rocky, leaving a tower of foam on top of the ring that settles onto the body. Retention is fantastic, the head sticks around during the entire drinking of this beer. Lacing isn't so much lacing as walls of chunky foam on the sides of your glass. A great looking beer.

Sweet sugary aroma combined with some ripe fruits. Apple and banana come to mind. Banana is probably the strongest fruit aroma. A little bit of alcohol. Overall, Duvel actually smells a little bit like champagne.

Taste is similar to the aroma, but I think better. Lots of sugary sweetness with some fruit flavors. I taste apple, pear and banana. Unlike the aroma, the banana isn't dominant. A good, bready, pilsner malt flavor rounds things out nicely. Just a touch of alcohol and a lot of dryness toward the finish. Duvel is full-flavored and complex, while remaining balanced; it is a great example of a Belgian Pale Ale, if not the best example.

Medium bodied with a somewhat slick feel on the tongue, but a with dry finish. A ton of active carbonation that suits this beer very well.

This beer has pretty good drinkability. I probably prefer to sip rather than down it, but it is well balanced and worth spending a little bit of time enjoying. As beer goes, it tastes a little bit like a very dry champagne, but the sweet grape flavors are replaced by sweet malt and yeast characteristics.

Hojaminbag, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of OlieIPA
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I've been having a lot of stouts lately that haven't had too much head, so I've been pouring my beers pretty hard. Anyways, I decided to do this while pouring this beer....big mistake! This beer is so heady, that I wasn't even sure it even had beer in it. LOL. Anyways, let me get serious with this review.

A: Big and frothy looking head along with a rich golden color.

S: A mix of apple cider and banana aroma followed by subtle Belgian spices.

T: Again, a strong apple cider influence along with some sort of citrus fruity character.

M: A light to medium body that leaves your mouth refreshed and rejuvenated; lower carbonation than expected.

D: Good with no hints of alcohol; a good beer to enjoy after a long day.

Overall: A good beer, not mind-blowing for me. It's definitely worth a try if you get a chance.

OlieIPA, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden body with a tall, airy, cloud white head. Notable head retention and tons of fine, sticky lacing throughout.

Smell: Delicate malts with soft touches of clover honey. Mild floral and spice notes, along with fruity hints of pineapple and banana-flavored bubblegum. Lightly boozy, but it's a classy booziness, mind you.

Taste: Soft pale maltiness with a light honey sweetness. Splash of dessert wine. Bits of banana, chewing gum, and ripe pineapple. Slight sour yeastiness. Light floral and spicy Noble hop character and bitterness. Peppery alcohol, particularly on the otherwise drying, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation. Very slight stickiness throughout.

Drinkability: Rather drinkable despite the 8.5% ABV. A respectable stalwart member of the classic Belgians.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of snaotheus
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color, not very cloudy, surprisingly large head and exceptionally strong lacing (it never faded, it was still on the glass in the morning). Nice hops background, slightly yeasty taste, and a sunny feeling in the mouth. I could drink a few of these if they were available.

snaotheus, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of popery
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Belgians. The head is simply gigantic and it is a Belgian Strong Pale that lives up to the color part of that name. It's a light yellow beer, and the head is sterile white in color. It's also an entirely wonderful head. It's like the most aggressive bubble bath in the world. There are large and small bubbles that pile atop one another and take ages to settle away. The smell is all Belgian. It's earthy and spicy and perfectly blended with the alcohol. The flavor is tart and earthy, like eating a sour apple while sitting in hay. The good folks at Duvel make phenomenal beer. God bless the Flemish.

popery, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold color with 3 fingers of fluffy white head.

Scent of sweet malts, sugars and some fruits. Light considering the strength, no alcohol detected.

Taste of sugars, yeast and some malts initially, a more potent malt character comes in with a hint of alcohol. Finishes with some yeast and malts lingering for a short while.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, carbonation is strong, but welcome.

Overall, this is just a damn good beer, and I will more than gladly drink it again. It just makes me wonder why I took so long to try it.

paco1029384756, Nov 26, 2008
Photo of germanbeer1
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

By far one of my top three Belgian beers. It has an outstanding gold-colored body with a very faint smell of fruit. What I enjoy about Duvel is that the taste is incredibly smooth with only a very small amount of fruitiness, yeast and alcohol. This is definitely a beer that should slowly be enjoyed over time and is good with every sip.

germanbeer1, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle, best before 04/2011

Poured carefully , this brew has a rocky white pillow that last until the beer is finished. Golden and clear in color.

Aroma of slight funk, alcohol is apparent.

Classic combination of yeasty breadiness, slight hoppiness, and mellow sweetness makes this one of my favorites.

Medium body , with slightly dry finish. Over carbonation is to be expected.

Overall one of my favorite sippers.

shroompod, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of markpiazza
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

markpiazza, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of hokies1999
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very golden hue, similar to Bud but that's where the similarities end. The beer is bubbly like champagne throughout the entire drinking experiance. It has a sweet floral aroma, a sweet fruity nose with a champagne like mouth feel and white wine like finish on the sides of the tongue. Duvel is a confused brew. It's an ale that thinks it's a world class champagne. The only thing that reminds me this is an ale is the finish that is not as dry as champagne.

Duvel should be savored with each sip. It's obvious care and effort went into this delicate brew. I can't believe an ale of this golden hue can have so much sweetness and flavor. Truely reminded me of my breif time in Germany.

hokies1999, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of Guzzler78
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really Enjoyed this 750 ml Bottle.

This beer has a beautiful head to it that lasts throughout consumption. Leaves a lot of lace on the side of your glass. Golden, straw-like color.

Some spice as well as fruity overtones in the aroma. Sweet malt taste as well as fruity and spicy notes. A nice lingering light spicy aftertaste. Light on the palate. A crisp and delightful finish.

I could drink this 24/7.

Guzzler78, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of WalrusJockey
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into the Duvel branded tulip.

The beer smells, to me, similar to a brut or dry Champagne. The light, fruity, sweet-but-not-sugary sent is nothing if not enjoyable.

The color of the beer is similar to that of many lighter beers, and not dissimilar to a great many crummy beers. The most visible difference is that Duvel, when poured properly, has a massive (~50%) head, which, in the branded glassware, is sustained long enough for the bottle to be consumed.

The head itself is light and sweet, with fruity elements, wonderfully enjoyable. The beer is similar, although certainly less sweet and fruity. Personally, I am no fan of sweet beers, but Duvel rides the line perfectly, with a flavorful sweetness, combined with a dash of crisp tartness.

The beer is, as many of you know, 8.5% ABV, which is shocking considering the delicious, non-tart flavors. A devil of a combination, indeed.

Post Script- the branded glasses are Highly Recommended as well. Well worth the price.

WalrusJockey, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of FACEMEAT
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. glass into snifter.

A: I was not at all impressed with the pale straw color, but the head was one of the most substantial and beautiful I've seen. Gorgeous lacing left on the glass.

S: Alcohol and a sweet wheatiness predominate.

T: Dried apricot and earthy wheat were the first flavors I noticed. Upon warming, the flavors intensified and I noticed a spicy pepper finish as i drew near the end of the glass. One thing I was slightly put off by was the strength of the alcohol flavor throughout. Normally, I don't mind an astringent alcohol bite, but I felt it interfered with this beer's flavors.

M: The color suggests a thin, watery mouthfeel, but Duvel is anything but.

D: Aside from the alcohol overtones, this is a delicious brew.

FACEMEAT, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of DeliriumDuck
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice thin head with a golden body.

Aroma is a bit musty with a hint of lime.

The carbination combined with the twang of the alcohol scream champange but the secondary flavors say otherwise. The alcohol is subtle with an applesauce hint which is masked by a wheaty bitterness and wonderful amount of alcohol. A unique balanced beer that I would love to discover in the back of my fridge.

DeliriumDuck, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of kcillini77
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head retention is amazing on this beer. Pour it correctly to avoid too much head. No pouring straight down the center for this one.

Looks a lot like a domestic lager in terms of color, but the taste is anything but. Smells of hay, flowers, spicy hops. Taste is similar and is very yeasty.

Just a great beer. I was craving some last night but the store I picked it up at didn't have it cold, so am enjoying it tonight. Should never go very long without filling my Duvel tulip with its namesake.

kcillini77, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of skylab
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I like this beer. A lot. It was quaffed initially from a bottle which is probably not the proper etiquette for such a beer but sometimes we do not have time for frivolous formalities.

My ex-brother-in-law brought some over one evening - which made me suspicious from the beginning - and he showed me the receipt from the purchase. To say I thought he overbought would be an understatement. $15 for a 4-pack? After one sip I had to re-evaluate my position. This stuff is righteous!

We used a cabinet-mounted opener to open the first bottle which was a mistake. It resulted in an overflowing, overpowering blast from the bottle which we felt ruined the initial impression of taste. This was also true with the second bottle. The third and fourth bottles were opened with a "church key" and the experience was entirely different. No overflowing blast and a much more crisp, tingly impression up front.

I MUCH preferred this crisp/tingly impression. Many beers I have tasted have disappointed me by a lack of carbonation. But this one - opened by key - did not disappoint in that respect. I like a little tongue-tingle from the carbonation process. I believe it is part and parcel for the experience and has a definite place in the taste spectrum. That's why "nitro beers" lack in taste in my opinion. Lotsa head but no taste; like a cheap date. But I digress...

Anyway, short story long, this is a beer not to be missed. Very drinkable - if not frat-boy material - but it definitely drinks softly and carries a big stick. A really big 8.5 stick. Not overly sweet like a barley wine but certainly not weak like your average mass-produced Belgian. Use with caution. Perfect for forgetting one of "those days" at the office. Just don't plan on leaving the house.

skylab, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of nightswatch
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oh Duvel. Oh how I love it.
Theatrics aside, this truly is a phenomenal beer. Poured properly and into the right glass, the lacing is uniquely tenacious (not to mention gorgeous) and the nutty head persists for HOURS. It truly looks appetizing like no other in a tulip. It smells great as well. A fair bit of alcohol in the nose. Whats truly exceptional about the beer is its mouthfeel and drinkability. at 8.5% it really is a devil, and the alcohol is hidden so well that it will put you under the table if you choose to session it. Its perfectly carbonated and even sweet on the tongue, and leaves just a slight crispy finish coupled with enough alcohol to make you want to dive right back in. It tends to be prohibitively expensive to drink on a super regular basis, but on occasion its a tremendous treat. Miller High Life's slogan has always been a joke, THIS is the champagne of beer.

nightswatch, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of erok
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a clear golden color with a fluffy, voluminous head that took a long time to recede to 1/2 inch thick. Vigorously rising, tiny bubbles sustained the head.

S - The best part of this beer for me. Has the trademark belgian spiciness (particularly coriander) that all of my favorite beers have.

T - the same spiciness as in the aroma (coriander and pepper) with hop bitterness. Very little sweetness from the malt.

M- Medium-bodied with the carbonated effervescence making its presense throughout the palte

D- Quite. I'd have two if I had two.

erok, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby into my new 'Duvel' glass. Pours a light golden with a volcanic boil emanating from the bottom center of the glass. Head is well represented but not as robust nor as meringue like as I've seen in pours elsewhere(just realized that was at 8000 feet!). Offers sticky lacing and a nice easily regenerated frothy head, but not the retention I expected.

Smell is somewhat odd yet rather enticing, mostly of muddled and candied fruit with some semi-sour yeast notes. And the malty structure grows on you a bit. I sense I'm converting to a degree, or maybe not. Otherwise this brew reminds me a bit of a typical Euro lager, albeit with a more robust mouthfeel and a higher ABV. Yet that alone is not enough to encourage me to purchase again. A Damnation I would prefer. Will try again if I see it poured more richly as I may have had a corked bottle. Otherwise I don't see Duvel getting any more of my money,

Edit: August, 2009:

Picked up a 750ml. bottle and the meringue is back. A ridiculous head forms and fills the glass for like three and a half weeks. The cork put a dent in my ceiling and I was careful. Alas, I would like to consume this beer as opposed to just look at it. Patience my friend.

Smell is improved over the stubby but not by much and remains quite sweet on the tongue. Lager notes are not present either. Carbonation is a friend to this beer and apparently the stubby bottle may be a victim of carbonation loss, particularly with respect to the robust bottle conditioning of the 750 ml. bottle.

What a difference...review updated accordingly..

HalfFull, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml of pure goodness poured into snifters.

A = Clear golden liquid with a brilliant white head, good retention, great lacing.

S = White pepper, toffee, spun sugar, wet hay, good yeasty esters.

T = Sweet candy up front with an immediate bitter sour candy taste to pull you back into balance, white pepper, An excellent beer. Would go great with mussels for breakfast.

M = Medium body, great mouthcoating, foamy but not creamy.

D = A great easy drinker, come back again and again.

Traquairlover, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Shumista
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my snifter. This is my 3 of the 4 pack and the second one that has overflowed with foam when I popped the top off. I wonder why that is happening? Unfortunately I didn't remember that it happened last time so now I have a big mess to clean up.

A- Duvel pours a very nicy golden straw yellow with a huge head. Lots of lacing left on the glass after each sip.
S- Not my favorite aroma. Slight yeastiness with some fruitiness (apple I think), and some sourness. There is something in the smell that reminds of belgian beer that has dried onto the inside of the glass overnight.
T- A big improvement over the smell. Theres a lot going on here. Crisp, yeasty, fruity (lots of apple) and spicy. Sour at the end.
M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable in the back of the throat but not in a boozy or unpleasant way.
D- Very high, I would have no problem going through a couple more.

Shumista, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of BigJim5021
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal-clear straw with a bubbly white head. Forms some nice lacing.

Smell is slightly yeasty, though is mostly dominated by grassy hops and pale malts.

Pilsener-like malt and hop profile, but smacked with Belgian yeast. Absolutely glorious.

The effervescence challenges that of champagne. In fact, it tells champagne to fuck right off. Bone stankin' dry on the finish.

Duvel is a classic for a reason. There's nothing else quite like it.

BigJim5021, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of mtbbaboon
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750ml bottle. Poured into a snifter glass. Pours a beautiful golden yellow. Thick foamy head with good retention. Leaves a nice coat of lace on the glass. It's got a nice aroma; fruit, wheat and spice. The taste is a real crisp and has a wonderful bite to it. Tastes like it smells, with fruit and spice and some nice bitterness. The alcohol is noticable and that is something I like. The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and a little bubbly. This is a very easy beer to drink and I enjoy the heck out of it.

mtbbaboon, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang tulip from the 750mL size bottle.

A pale yellow straw color- very light with a huge white head that never fades and leaves incredible lacing. This beer really is perfect in its appearance.

Smells of straw-like malts, a balanced herbal hop note. Nice yeast character and some fruitiness, perhaps apple or pear. Pepper and noble hops.

The taste followed with clean sweet malt flavors, yeast spiciness and some fruitiness (maybe some berry?), crisp hop bite. This was definitely very smooth and drinkable for its ABV, very balanced. Nicely carbonated and a classic gateway beer for people just getting into the craft beer scene.

Ineedabeerhere, Nov 12, 2008
Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 6,550 ratings.