1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,816 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,816
Reviews: 2,612
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 295
Gots: 710 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV visit their website

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)
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duvel Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,816 | Reviews: 2,612 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
3.3/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

THE BSPA. Which I apparently have never reviewed. Honestly, it never was my favorite, but I haven't had it in quite some time, and the "buy a 4 pack and get a free tulip" promo seemed like a good excuse to revisit this world classic.

33cl stubby, around 40-45F, poured into the famous Duvel tulip. This beer looks perfect. Clear gold, an eruption of bubbles streaming up from the etched "D" in the bottom center of the glass. Big pillowy white head, rock and slow settling, taller island of foam in the middle, while as the sides subside, it leaves heavy, foamy lace.

Smell is pils grain, table sugar, minerals (seltzer like), light herbal, grassy hops and fruity belgian esters. A pretty nice balance between it all, but not overly robust or exciting, even when I bury my nose in the glass.

Taste is still not my favorite, overly grainy and boozy for my taste in the style, where I prefer more esters. I've just always found it to simple and rough, and that is still the case. Even letting it warm up a good bit, the only thing that gained strength was the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very crisp, a sharp if very fine (small bubbled carbonation).

Drinkability is ok. Just a strong and simple Belgian blonde in my book. The glass is by far the best thing about the whole package. While I appreciate it's good looks, the taste just doesn't do a lot for me, and I find it to be average at best. About as close to American lager as you can get in a Belgian Ale, taste wise. And isn't that really what it's all about?

Photo of Ralphus
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Duvel. It's hard to believe it has been a 15 year on and off relationship and I'm just now getting around to reviewing you. We were first introduced when my friends and I had met a Belgian guy over the internet in '95 or '96. Dom was his name he came to Canada with all sorts of magical beers.

We were young and we lived in the poorest province in Canada. But the odd thing was we had the fastest residential internet feed on the continent. It was strange times and we were meeting lots of stranger people. The majority of our beer was, unfortunately, quite terrible. Despite this we knew there was better to be had.. Michael Jackson's pocket book on beer promised as much. And while our friends drank local versions of Labatt and Molson products we had moved on, past the imports and into the then exciting Upper Canada microbrewery. When Duvel arrived by way of our strange traveler it was a bit like handing a laptop to a neanderthal. We recognized it was far superior - but didn't understand how it worked, how it was created nor why we liked it so much.

That magic however was short lived. Dom was just as young as we were and he only had a backpack to hold his beer and clothes. He shortly returned to his life and us to ours. When you are young interests can be fleeting and intermixed with dozens of others. And even though Duvel was out of sight, it was not out of mind. There was potential there that none of us would forget.

It was Duvel that kicked open the door to the world that Michael Jackson wrote about. A world of great beers, great understanding and great friends. And for that reason it will always remain in my mind as the best beer.

Photo of greg202stewart
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are not enough good things to say about this beer. It is my favorite Belgian Ale, Trappist excluded. I have to pour it very slowly because the head of this beer can get out of control quick. A full galss of Duvel is certainly one of the best sites to see, and has become the standard of how a Belgian ale should look, with it large flavorful head. The smell is very spicy. The taste is very crisp with a slight bite to it. This is a great beer to drink with dinner, especially my favorite, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich at The Abbey in Providence.

Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've heard about this one for a long time. Heard more about it when I was at Brewery Ommegang. I had a chance to try it as a part of the first beer dinner - Belgian Beer Dinner - at Kindling. Due to the success of the event, I'm sure there will be more.

A: Big pour!! No matter how carefully I poured it produced a big, thick head. On a 6oz tasting glass it initially appeared to be 2oz beer and 4oz head. Once it balanced out a little you could see a brilliant yet cloudy gold.

S: Fruity pear, spicy cloves, and an earthiness to this (from the yeast, I guess).

T: The fruit tones and spiciness comes through in the taste. There is a hoppy crispness on the back edge.

M: Easy on the mouth. Dense body. Well balanced. Maybe a little too carbonated.

D: Found this to be very drinkable. The 8.5% ABV is well hidden. I think I waited too long to try this one. I like it and would recommend it.

Photo of nms1987
3.33/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

From the bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Pilsnery gold. Fairly opaque though. I can barely see my finger on the other side. Big foam. A beautiful beer, despite my subpar pour

The nose is all wine and apples. The wine aspect is interesting. Some sniffs I'm getting sauvignon blanc, on others I'm getting cabernet.. wtf?

Dry apples on the taste, in a way that is not dissimilar to Unibroue Ephemere... despite the beers otherwise being much different.
An elegant and crisp beer with good carbonation. I'm sure it could go great with a variety of food. I'm not really tasting any of the Saaz that is supposed to be in this stuff though.

Drinkability is low. I wouldn't have another and each sip must be taken carefully. Too big a gulp and you don't feel good, same as with a good wine.

EDIT-I enjoyed it less and less as the night went on. I've had and liked this beer before, but on this review it was just a little too much. I can't quite place what put me off aobut it.
I'll have to try it again sometime.

Photo of donteatpoop
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to try this for the longest time, finally got around to it when I saw it come in a four pack with a snifter glass. All I have are pint glasses and this is a nice addition to my collection.

Poured a slightly hazey golden color with a nice thick cap of foam that stuck around for a while; great lacing left behind on the glass.

Fruity pear-like aromas hit the nose on a fresh pour. Once the foam settles it is mostly yeast and hops, alcohol hitting the nose as well.

The alcohol is present on the tongue but not over powering. Really a great taste, very smooth going down; vague fruity and floral notes.

Photo of Frosty80
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: poured out the yeast (ill try again without it). perfect cloudy, pure gold. two-finger head with constant replenishment

Smell: crisp, yeasty, slightly malty. typical belgian spices.

Taste: very crisp, citrusy (somewhat tart), yeasty and alcoholic combo. very clean finish with only a hint of malt and yeast and just a tich of bitterness

Mouthfeel: very sparkly. very light, crisp and smooth. high carbonation

Notes: what a gorgeous beer! totally lives up to its reputation. extremely easy drinking, despite the carbonation. delicious fruitiness. totally disappears from your mouth once you swallow. i know i gave it all 5's, but i just didnt know where to compromise, and this is a perfect example of what a strong golden should be

Photo of timmytootimes
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE:It pours a beautiful bright gold with good carbonatioin. Beautiful dense rocky white head thanks to the secondary fermentation.

AROMA:Great nose of pear, cloves and spicy yeastiness with a hint of caramel and some floral aspects.

FLAVOR/MOUTH-FEEL: Dense and creamy with a nice hop bite and full bodied complexity. Slightly sweet but not over the top, well balanced by the ripe pear and fresh hops that come through nicely on the back end .

Overall an excellent beer!

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color (some yeast made it out of the bottle) with a towering, frothy white head. The head sticks around for quite a while, eventually settling into a cloud sitting on top of my beer, leaving thick lacing. It's been well documented but bears repeating, this is a great looking beer.

Smells of grassy hops with hints of apples and pears. There's also an earthy yeast aroma that pokes out every now and then.

Tastes different than it smells. Loads of booze-soaked pear flavors are joined by solid sweet malt flavors and green apples. There's a ton of nuance going on in this beer, and I could have five more and not completely figure it out.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. There's nothing about this beer that I don't like and I could have a lot of these.

Overall this beer has something for everybody - go find some if you haven't had it before.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Best Before: 11/2010

Watch out kids, this one's a gusher! Only minimal loss, about two swallows, off of this 750ml bottle, so, all is well.

This pours the most crystal clear, golden yellow tinted, honey color that I've ever seen in a glass. It has just the faintest hint of copperish/orange tones to it. Massive head of super-sticky loose white foam. Retention is amazing and so is the lacing.
Very nice.

How about a nice glass of Belgian Yeast drink? Big yeasty nose. Not overdone or offensive, though. This one is most inviting. Nice hints of white fruits like peaches and apricots. Bananas and a touch of fresh figs. Slight hint of bubblegum. Some mild funk notes that remind me, oddly enough, of sandlewood. Never said that about a beer, before.
Almost smells like a 'new age' bookstore, that also sells fruit (probably organic, I'd guess).

Well, I don't know why I've waited so long on this one. Okay, one reason is because it's not available in my area. But I've had this bottle downstairs for a couple of months, now. What have I been waiting for?
Very tasty, I must say. Peaches, bananas, white grapes and green apples are rolling around in Belgian yeast. Clove is prominent, but not overbearing. Slight notes of orange peel. Nice earthy graininess.

Very clean feeling, while nicely creamy, at the same time. High level of carbonation, but it's those tiny little bubbles that this style is supposed to have. Very smooth and enjoyable.

Very drinkable, especially in warmer climates/seasons. The 8.5% ABV is very well masked. This is light and fruity, yet still has enough going on, with that, to keep me interested for along time to come.
Worth the wait.

Photo of Aenema
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a clear, pale straw with a rocky, 2 finger white head. There are rings of clingy lacing around the glass.
Smell - Aroma is of spicy, sweet Belgian yeast, banana and clove.
Taste - Spicy, sugary yeast with hints of banana and citrus.
Mouthfeel - Effervescent with a light to moderate body and a crisp finish.
Drinkability - Very drinkable, especially for a beer of this strength.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours a pale wheat color with loads of that famous, fluffy Duvel head. Great retention throughout.

Nose is a nice blend of banana, white grapes, cloves, wheat.

Taste is so lush and yet so balanced. Apples, banana, citrus fruits, slight hints of grains. Just so bubbly and alive and fresh. Faintest hints of the alcohol but this is such an easy drinking beer that you would never guess the ABV. Only complaint is maybe it's too carbonated for easy drinking?

What can a poor beer journeyman like myself say about a beer like this that hasn't been said? Top notch.

Photo of ReebShorts
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nice pop (cage/corked), followed by a wafting of "beer smoke". Poured into Orval chalice, nice light yellow color, medium amount of head, very white.

Aroma of bread, orange peel, banana, and green apple, and cloves.

At first sip I felt it was a bit too "candied", but the second and third sips squashed that theory. It's quite tasty, sweet but not cloying, and has a bit of hops to balance everything out.

Perfect amount of carbonation, and has a smooth, somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my DT snifter. Best by date on 2/11 stamped on side. Opened with a massive pop. Was a slightly hazy pale yellow color. Lots of carbonation and slow sliding lace with occasional sticks. I geeked out and went to the website to see the perfect pour demonstration and followed it by still only got a thin white head. It settled into a broken film fed by the carb.

The aroma was a bid subdued. Green apple, lemon, corriander, yeast and alcohol. Sweet. What was there was good but really had to swirl to get it going. The taste was good but subtle as well. Starts out slow and then hits it stride but then had a slightly off aftertaste. Might need to re-sample this one at a later date since seems off in several areas.

Overall, a really good but not great beer. As noted above, I need to try again later since seems like it could be an off bottle. Based on other reviews, it seemed that this one would be right up my alley but misses the mark.


Photo of deanhead
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant straw colored with an enormous dense frothy rocky
Aroma is yeasty and earthy, with hint of spice
Taste is warming and solventlike.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.
Lingering astringency with this beer. Slight medicinal notes that overshadow the finish of the beer.

Photo of CityBoy1986
4.93/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a goblet since that's the closest thing to a tulip I own. Best before date is April of 2011.

The pour is a lighter shade of gold than I expected, but the tall white head is nice. It recedes ever so slowly (making it one of the nose-dippers!), and I had trouble seeing through the lacing because of the amount.

Fruits are the first aromas caught in the nose, especially apple, banana and orange. Spices and some woodsiness follow. The faintest smell is one of yeast. I don't notice anything of alcohol. The taste again starts with the fruits and adds more citrus, some lemon and grapefruit. The spices linger on the tongue for a while, certainly well after the sip is in my stomach. There is some, but not too much, bitterness present throughout. In addition, the alcohol is noticeable only if I take too much of a sip (which is hard to resist).

The beer is light-to-medium bodied with a large amount of carbonation. It is also one of the smoothest I have ever tasted. Drinkability is high, but again, taking too big of a sip reminds one just how much alcohol is present. I could definitely have a few.

I wish I didn't have a +/- 120 mile round trip just to be able to buy this beer. If it weren't for that, I would always have at least a couple of bottles on hand.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Gorgeous. Pours a slightly hazy golden-yellow, with a massive amount of white head. The head is four fingers thick, and dissipates at a glacial rate. As it does subside, it leaves blankets and blankets of lacing.

Smell: Muted notes of banana and pear, undercut by an almost woodsy note. Some honey notes. Some hops are noticeable, only to complement the dominant banana flavor.

Taste: A banana sweetness right off the tongue, backed by woodsy and some spicy notes. Favor fades to a mild hop bitterness, but some of the sweetness of the malt lingers well into the aftertaste. Very clean and crisp taking. There are no strong, overpowering flavors in this one, and each flavor is so delicate that this absolutely needs to warm up a little bit before drinking.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with prickly carbonation. The high carbonation keeps this one a sipper.

Drinkability: I'm torn on this one. It tastes outstanding, and the light flavors make me want to drink this quickly, but the prickly carbonation and high alcohol say otherwise. This beer would be almost perfect if it were lower in ABV/carbonation, making it easier to drink, or if the flavors were a bit more full. Regardless, this is an excellent beer, and one that I will likely constantly keep on hand.

Photo of johnmichael712
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured out of an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Freshness date on the bottle is 05 2011. This beer pours a bright, translucent gold color that was perfectly clear until I swirled the last few drops in the bottle and added it so as the get the yeast into the glass. The head is a very bright white color and is supplemented by a steady torrent of small carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. I've said that heads have been soft and pillowy in the past, but the head of Duvel takes that one step further into a melted cream sort look that mimics the consistency of a dollop of cream atop a cup of coffee. The most amazing thing, however, is not only that the head maintains this consistency throughout the entire experience but it also maintains fabulous surface coverage all the way down and no gold is ever visible when looking straight down into the glass. It also leaves a huge amount of Belgian lace, and makes me pull the trigger on that five rating.

Smell: The nose of this beer showcases the significant fruity esters in the beer, with green apples, pears, and orange peel being the most prominent. There is also moderate clove spiciness in the nose that shouts "Belgian yeast", along with a very faint, musty hop aroma. There is also just the faintest hint of alcohol in the nose, but it's hard to say if it's really there or if I'm just making it up.

Taste: This beer begins with all the wonderful fruit esters that were present in the nose, green apples, pears, and bitter orange peel, but there is also a bit of lemon zest present in the flavor. This moves to a strong, peppery yeast flavor and spicy hoppiness that lingers on the palate for an absolute eternity, far beyond the extra dry finish. As this beer warms up to room temperature the spiciness and the hops become even more prominent, along with a hint of alcohol., and the flavor reaches new heights. I definitely recommend letting this one warm up a good amount before drinking.

Mouthfeel: Very highly carbonated, which is one of the trademarks of the style. Besides that, this beer has a very light, crisp body and a heavenly smoothness to it despite the carbonation and it's a real pleasure to drink this. Incredibly smooth, light, crisp, and effervescent.

Drinkability: This is one beer that I could drink all night long. As I mentioned in the mouthfeel it's incredibly crisp, dry, and smooth, and it has all the qualities of good champagne but with so much more complexity and flavor. Watch out, though, because this little guy is still 8.5%. They don't call it the devil for nothing.

Notes: To be honest I'm sad that I've waited this long to try such a highly touted brew. One of Michael Jackson's top five beers in the world, this is definitely something that everyone should get a taste of at least once in their lifetime. I'm so glad I bought it, but sad that I only got one bottle. I'll definitely be buying more in the future.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemless wineglass golden yellow with a nice thick white head that stays around for a long time, the way a belgian should. Good amount of bubbles, but the carbonation isn't evident in the mouthfeel. Smell isn't as strong as I expected, but the normal spices are present. The taste is a nice spiced hop bite, but not too strong for a BSPA. It's very well balanced.

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a 750ml bottle into a tulip. chilled for 30 minutes in the fridge before drinking. perfect temp. Was really looking forward to this.

A- Golden, slightly cloudy

S- smells easy to drink. Malty

T- malty and crisp. Bubbly

M- very effervescent

D- easy but after the third glass it lost its strong ale taste and adopted a taste similar to a triple. Maybe this was just my palate.

Photo of wahhmaster
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 0.33l bottle into a small stemmed pokal glass.

Appearance: Pale, straw colored and translucent. Rather large, fizzy head that grows rather large if you don't watch it. Large numbers of carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Has a sweet, almost apple juice like scent with definite bready under tones. Smells pretty tasty.

Taste: Wow!! It has a nice sweet taste to it that complements its bitter, hoppy aftertaste. This beer hides its alcohol content like none i've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, almost watery with little noticeable carbonation. Very pleasant.

Drinkability: Great! I would definitely drink this one again if I saw it!

Photo of taylorhamrick
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost hazy, but mostly clear yellow/golden color, with a big, fluffy, white head. The head collapses, leaving a little lacing, and a thin puff of bubbles stays on top the whole time. The smell is nice. Powdery pilsener malts, some light sugary smells, but not a very intense sweetness. A very faint earthy spiciness from the noble hops. The taste comes across first with some nice pleasant pilsener malt. Then the noble hops kick in, with some minty, almost peppery spice with a nice earthy finish. There's a nice struggle between sweetness and dryness in the finish, and I enjoyed the battle. Very nice, right on, could maybe play more to some more raisiny, bready malts, but still a standard for taste I'd say. The carbonation is sharp on the tongue, which is kind of normal for a BSPA. The beer itself is kind of right on too, not too heavy/thick, or too light/thin. Good. The drinkability is good too. The alcohol warms a bit as you go on, but really you hardly notice it and this one can go down quick and easy.

Photo of youngblood
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Liquid gold and not the excreted kind. This is a beautiful looking brew that has a cloud of head that sticks around nearly the entire experience. Lace sticks to the glass as it is consumed, continuing the beauty.

S- Very crisp. Slight apple (slightly sour?) and bready scents. Very clean smelling.

T - Wonderful. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming. Very clean taste, concise. You can taste all parts nearly equally (hops, malt, etc.) Perfectly put together.

M - Light and refreshing, rolls on the tongue similar to champagne.

D - I'd love to drink these all night, they go down that easily. I would pass out eventually.

Photo of fullsweep
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a glass.

Thick white head of very large bubbles. Too much head to pour into the glass (probably poured too quickly). Head dissipates very slowly, leaving tons of lacing. Beer color is very pale, and cloudy.

Smells strong and Belgian, with yeast and alcohol coming through.

Taste is a tangy bittersweet mixture, but more sweet than bitter. Almost a slight sour taste. Alcohol comes through on the finish, and more so as I made my way down the glass.

Mouthfeel has a nice carbonation bite to it, more than any other beer I've tried.

Drinkability is moderate. It tastss great, but the highly ABV makes it more of a special occasion beer.

Photo of brianlg
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a sunny yellow color with thick head. Very nice appearance, even though I do not own a tulip glass. Duvel smells very sweet, citrusy, and nutty. On the taste I definitely tastes nuts, and fruit. It is very sweet as the smell indicates. It has a medium mouthfeel I would say, and it goes down very well. I really enjoy this beer, but I would have trouble drinking a lot of this in one sitting. But I have nothing but good things to say about this beer. It is definitely highly praised for a reason.

Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 6,816 ratings.