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Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,971 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,971
Reviews: 2,648
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.74%
Wants: 327
Gots: 850 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV visit their 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 (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,971 | Reviews: 2,648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Barrilitos
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I recall the Miller High Life being sold under the slogan of "The Champagne of Beer", well, that's just publicity, but Duvel... now that's the champagne of beer in all possible ways!

A: Clear gold, tender thick foam and endless bubbles, served in those special cups, it looks quite inviting!

S: Sweeet

T: Softly bitter with strong malt in the particular Belgian style

M: Crispy in the good way

D: Almost immediately seducing and intoxicating, and being so damn hard to come by (at least at a price not ranging 400% the original) where I live they are well treasured and a favorite.

Photo of TeeCee
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color - a light gold in the bar light. Maybe pale to whitish yellow in the daylight. The pour, my pour, developed into a mountain of head; very rocky collapsing inro a smaller mountain, leaving a white walled glass as it dissipated. Topping off the glass is a repeat performance. At the end of the bottle, I had a mouthful of foam; it had a structure like meringue.

Smell - (through a congested nose) light malt, flowerey hops, and maybe a little bit of lemon zest.

Taste - some malt that I couldn't smell. I should have known, it is Belgian. Hop bitterness is there. I get the flowers if I smell it, but that's not something I can really taste.

Mouthfeel - medium thin in the mouth. This seems like a good summer beer for the hoply inclined.

Photo of stbfan
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pale, hazy, awesome/huge white head. leaves the coolest lacing as you drink it.

smells like bread, hops, fruit, pepper.

tastes as smells with a great taste on the palate.

mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, warming.

very drinkable.dangerous as hell. no wonder they call it the devil!

Photo of BeanBone
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A beautifully hazy, golden-straw body topped with a mile of pillowy white head. The head looks like a dollop of meringue, lasts until the end of the glass, and leaves brilliant lacing. Simply gorgeous.

Aroma: Yeasty, spicy, and fruity with a whiff or two of booze. Thoroughly Belgian.

Taste: Intense. Lots of fruit (mainly apples and light citrus), bready yeast, and spices (pepper and clove). All of this over a tasty pale malt backbone. That over eight-percent alcohol content is there, but it's masked remarkably well and what does manifest itself is nothing but complimentary to the rest of the flavors. The aftertaste is complex, with many of the bready and spicy flavors in full effect.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy with a terrific carbonation and occasional hints of alcohol. Dries a little in the finish.

Drinkability: Certainly more drinkable than the alcohol content would suggest, this is surprisingly quaffable.

Verdict: Duvel is truly a brilliant beer and thoroughly stands up to it's rather lofty reputation. If you're looking to start your journey through the fascinating world Belgian beers, you certainly won't go wrong with this as your first step. A classic in all regards.

Photo of eat
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Alright...Duvel has been one of my biggest disappointments so far in my reviewing of beers. Definitely the biggest ratio of widely respected-to-I didn't think it was that great. I originally gave it a 3.6, which isn't a terrible review but is considerably less than average. Glassware choice may have been an issue. I don't remember what I used but I didn't have anything appropriate at the time. This time around I'm using a Maudite tulip, which is very similar in design to the proper Duvel tulip. I'm really hoping I was wrong last time, maybe it was an off bottle.

Pours almost clear and light golden yellow in colour. Decent airy, slightly rocky head which fades to the thinnest patchy covering. Some lacing though.

Smells like a ton of yeast, some light lemon and hops, a little grain and sweetness. Mostly smells of yeast. There isn't a lot of smell coming off it.

Astringent/acidic, slight hops, yeast, grain. It almost feels like it's going to upset my stomach; like it's part vinegar or something. It has a very strange quality to it. Dry finish. Pretty smooth for 8.5%, I'm not feeling it at all. I'll up the score to 4.0. There's something about this that's a bit indescribable.

This has one of the most prickly, lively mouthfeels I've ever experienced in a beer. It actually kind of reminds me of San Pellegrino (yes, the sparkling mineral water). That isn't an insult though, I love the feel of San Pellegrino. But it's weird at the same time, I don't quite know what to make of it.

So I think I can see how a lot of people are into this. For me it's a little uninteresting though. It's definitely not bad, I just wouldn't put it in the same category as the best beers I've had. I would gladly drink Duvel if it were free but won't be buying this again.

Old Review (05-26-2009):

Huge head (maybe I poured a little too quickly), settling down to a decent layer of foam that stuck around until the end. Really light color; I was expecting it to be a little darker but it's a murky, pale golden yellow. Not a bad looking beer. A little bit of lacing. 3.5

The smell is acidic, metalic, mildly spicy, a little yeasty. It doesn't smell bad but doesn't really smell good; pretty neutral. 3.5

I was expecting more taste than this, it's a little bland. It doesn't taste bad it just doesn't taste like much for my taste. Kind of like a light tasting white beer. Mostly tastes like the smell; an acidic bite, mild spice flavour, thin tasting though not bad tasting. 3.5

The mouthfeel is nice, thicker than the taste would leave you expecting. Good carbonation. 4.0

I don't know if I just had a bad bottle or what. I bought this today after reading all these great reviews but can't say I feel the same way. I definitely didn't think it was bad, I just really wasn't blown away at all. I do remember having this last year once and feeling the same way about it, mostly indifferent. I kind of feel like I'm missing out...what am I missing here? 4.0

Photo of seand
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

A: A slow pour led to a large foamy white head, 3+ fingers. Color is a clear light yellow. The head retains well, and leaves nice lacing.

S: Sweet with hints of citrus.

T: A nice balance, with sweetness and mild citrus up front, a little alcohol in the middle, finishing with a bit of a hop kick. Quite tasty.

M: Well carbonated, medium to light body, a little bit of stickiness.

D: Drinks very easy, though the ABV is a bit high.

Well made and tasty. Would drink again.

Photo of julian1117
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Visual appeal: a bubbly, misty bar of shining gold, appealing streaks, almost continuous effervescence

Smell: very reminiscent of hard apple cider, mild hop aroma, strong yeast, really grew on me as beer warmed

Flavor: Pilsner malts and Bohemian hops and very strong cloudy yeast flavor lingers a long time, feel warmth of alcohol on back of palette, hints of citrus but not strong enough, I'd prefer this a little sweeter, however

Mouthfeel: lovely effervescence plays with whole of tongue

Drinkability: heavy ABV--sipping beer, definitely would not drink more than one at a time

My first ever Belgian ale, right before the yank Memorial Day weekend, and I'm definitely feeling it (the ale, that is.) I have "gained a level." Combined with spicy tacos, and not a good choice. Beer became bitterer. Lager would have beer better.

Photo of Stavage
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with perhaps the foamiest head I've ever seen on a beer. I poured the beer into my Duvel tulip slowly and carefully and still got a massive head. Colour was a slightly cloudy amber. Right in the centre of the bottom of the glass there was a very noticeable jet of bubbles winding its way up to the top of the liquid. As I drank the head became a complex foamy landscape and well...what can I say, not only did the head last until the last drop, it outlasted the last drop. I still had half a finger of thick foamy white head at the bottom of the tulip after all the amber liquid had gone. Amazing!

Smell really did remind me of champagne but with added malt complexity.

Taking a sip at first a complex malty estery taste hits me, but not a particularly sweet taste, then a flash of noticeable alcohol before a big bitter finish. Aftertaste is mostly malt and yeast, particularly towards the end. The bitterness is almost too much for me but I get used to it. It's not the floral hops bitterness that I'm used to. Almost reminds me of rind coming to think of it. The bitterness sensation lingers a long time.

The carbonation is fairly lively and also long lasting. It's a very 'natural' carbonation like you get with sparking wines. There's a kind of smoothness and creaminess thanks to the head but otherwise a kind of rough alcoholic bite. Fairly dry.

It's definitely a sipping beer. I think one bottle would always be enough at a time for me though.

Enjoyed this beer very much. I feel it's a drink that would grow on me even more as I get used to its particular bitterness.

Photo of mhatters
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into, fittingly, a Duvel glass, at my house

Pours a golden straw color with an immense white, foamy head that sticks around. Great lacing on the glass.

A lot in the nose - some citrus, some clove and other spice, a bit of the yeast and a great overall sharpness that is almost unique to this beer.

Flavor has the yeastiness, spiciness, citrus and some light fruit. Sharp and tart.

Good carbonation, great mouthfeel.

I can, and have, consume this all day, the alcohol is almost non-apparent, this is a classic beer, and it can be enjoyed anywhere any time.

Photo of SingleCell
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a stubby tulip glass at cellar temp. Best before: Sept. 2011.

A: Very impressive looking beer. Very rocky clean full 2 inch head which had great retention. A pale straw coloured beer with noticeable carbonation constantly feeding that massive head.

S: Very sweet, malt and hop flavours are perfectly balanced in the nose. Bready Belgian yeast is also a major player in the nose of this beer. Behind is a slight alcohol presence as well as freshly baked biscuits/white bread, and surprisingly a bit of bubblegum which I would expect to find in a Hefeweizen or Weizenbock.

T: Up front there was alot more hops then I expected. The hops were slightly bitter. Strong malt backbone and just a hint of that bubblegum I previously mentioned. Also, again, that sweet bready belgian yeast. Behind all of these well balanced flavours there is a very distinct estery taste (mostly apples).

M: Light body with very heavy carbonation. Every sip leads to a very foamy light, crisp and ever so slightly dry mouthfeel. No complaints in this department, its spot on.

D: Very drinkable for a Belgian strong pale ale. Although alcohol can be detected in the nose it is nowhere to be found elsewhere.

Overall an excellent beer, truly the best of the style. I'll be picking up more of this beer wherever I can find it. Cheers everyone!

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Duvel, how do I love thee? Let me count thy ways...

Presentation: Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance - Cloudy golden color with a thick creamy head, excellent retention and beautiful lacing in the Duvel tulip glass. Head forms a nice peak as it slowly shrinks. Gorgeous!

Smell - Fantastic. Fruit, cloves and yeasty, yeasty, yeasty.

Taste - Yeasty, fruity and just the right hint of spiciness and hops all at the same time. Quite possibly the most consistently delicious beer on the planet.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, slippery and almost creamy.

Drinkability - Oh man, I could down these all day long...and I have! This is easily one of the most drinkable Belgian Strong Pale Ales out there. It is the gold standard for all others. This is always my go-to beer whenever I can get it while I'm out, and I always keep some on hand at home.

Serving suggestion: Poured from a 750ml bottle into an authentic Duvel tulip glass.

Photo of Duhast500
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ML bottle into brandy glass.

The color was a clear yellow with a slight white head and some slight lacing.

The smell was a bit dull, some yeast, and a bit of a pair flavor.

The taste was a bit tangy. Toasted pale malts some corn feel with a bit of a Belgian flavor.

This beer was a nice champagne type beer that seems to have a bit of carbination but did not leave the palete to overwelmed. Good drinkability but I feel I may need to give this another try it did not meet expectations.

Photo of smanders
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from the tap at Pub Concorde in Caen, France.

Appearance - Sediment-filled glass with cotton candy-like head.

Smell - Unbelievable. Fruit, spice, a little sugar.

Taste - Bubbles of sugar and spiciness all at the same time. Notes of fruit and grain. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel - almost creamy.

Drinkability - It's not one of the best beers on the planet for nothing. If you think you know a lot about beer but haven't had Duvel, stop and enjoy a pint right now. Your education (and enjoyment) level will increase to the nth degree.

In case you're wondering, it's still phenomenal from a bottle.

Photo of mjl21
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay glass. Best before 05/2011. Comes in at 8.5%.

A-Fairly clear golden color with tons of bubbles shooting up from the bottom. The signature massive head is in full effect. Off a careful pour I still get a big two finger white head full of different layers. The head eventually reduces in size, but is still larger than most beers on the market.

S-A subtle nose. Yeast is the predominant aroma, along with clean malt and fruits such as apple and banana.

T-The yeasty flavor is very pronounced. The fruits really come into play in the middle giving it a nice sweet touch. As it goes down there is a nice peppery bite. As I work through the glass I pick up on sour notes, some nice bitterness from the hops, and the perfect amount of warming alcohol.

M-Superb level of crisp carbonation, reminiscent of a good dry champagne. The foamy head gives this a smooth mouthfeel.

D-A very refreshing beer. The higher abv limits this one from being a perfect 5.

A true classic that somehow always ends up in my shopping cart when I go to Trader Joes. It works great as a year round beer. One of these days I will get around to aging a few and see how they turn out.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ML into a snifter/ Best by date of 07/2011

P: Crystal clear yellowish gold with a huge, healthy head of white foam. One of the most awesome crowns in existence! This thing is dense, rocky, and looks like sea foam as its perched atop the body for what seems like an eternity. Upon settling, it plasters the side of the glass with ultra-sticky foam. Wow!

A: Smells of toasty malts, fresh bananas and pears, peppery yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

T: Toasted pale malts are slightly grainy with a very warm & inviting, sensual kind of feel to them that massages the tongue into a trance. Fruits are bountiful, but stay very compact and tightly organized to deliver strategic hits of flavors that consist of bananas, apples, and pears. White pepper spices things up with a yeasty kick on the back end. Delicious!

M: Medium-full bodied with a volumizing carbonation that expands in the mouth to give a rich, creamy feel. Maybe the best mouthfeel for a BSPA that I've come across yet.

Notes: This is definitely the gold standard for which BSPA's should be measured. Having had this several times before, but reviewing it for the first time here, I can say that this one deserves all of the accolades it receives. Also, one of the best values out there. $9 for a 750, yes please!

Photo of himmelhuber
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours golden in the glass with a widely pored semi stable
head. Does not smell like much. Taste a bit sweet nearly
like Radler. Nice esters and subtle maltiness. The only
problem I have with this beer is that for 8.5 % alcohol is
feels a bit thin what makes it really drinkable, but with this
alcohol content you can't really drink a lot of it (thats why
only 2.5 for drinkability). The high OG that this beer has does
in my opinion not really contribute to its complexity.
Anyhow, good but dangerous beer.

Photo of MVotter
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma from the opening of the bottle: spices, clove, some yeast

Aroma after the pour: breads and yeast.

I poured the Duvel down the middle of a tall pils glass (ignoring the instructions on the label of the classic pudgy bottle). It produced a white head as tall as the glass itself! After a minute, it was still four fingers tall and the body of the beer was a foggy light gold.

The second pour was per instructions ... hehe.

Wow! This Belgian is so effervescent that it is reminiscent of champagne. If poured down the side be ready for an explosion of bubbles in your mouth. It all depends upon which experience you prefer.

The taste is a blessed union of malts and hops, with a clove-spice finish. Incredibly delicious.

The mouthfeel was alluded to earlier in this review ... note there is a vast difference in the experience with the pour.

It goes without saying that the drinkability of this Belgian is off the charts ... beware however, the abv is 8.5% and it will own you.

As for the Strong Belgian Pale Ales ... Duvel is thy Master.

Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a glorious clear pale yellow with huge two finger head of foam that appears to be growing. Tons of lacing down the whole glass. The carbonation is continuously active. It's alive!!!

S- Wheaty and flowery smell. Yeast.

T- Clean, crisp wheaty malt flavor. Hint of overripe banana. Light hop bitterness. I can't really taste the alcohol until it goes down. Light aftertaste.

M- All of the carbonation is like a massage for the mouth and throat. Warmness on the tongue from the alcohol. A bit of a drying effect on the tongue as well. Very unique.

D- The taste allows this to be quite drinkable. However, the alcohol makes you take your time with this one.

Not my favorite style of beer, so I am probably not able to appreciate this as much as others may. However, it is still evident that this is a well crafted brew.

Photo of hardy008
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saved for Review # 100

Appearance - Pours a pale golden color with a large perfect white foamy head which leaves a nice lace on the glass.

Smell - Sweetness of malt, hints of banana and orange.

Taste - Sweet malt flavor with orange, lemon, and banana.

Mouthfeel - Clean, crisp, light bodied.A little dry at the end. Has a sticky feel to it. I mean that in a good way. Makes you want to drink more of it.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. A great brew which I am glad I saved for Review number 100.

Photo of xerxes2695
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Fogish pale with a bizzare translucency that ghost-fades objects on the other side of the glass. Eerily optically perfect and inticing. Super duper head that lasts forever. 3-4 fingers. Leaves chunks of foam on the glass :)

S - Yeastey smell. Natural, like a bread factory with mild alcohol vapors and a refreshing and crazy complex malt aroma.

T - Mellow bitterness with just a shy hint of sour, like grape skins. Champagne-like carbonation that comes just short of tickling the nose. Refreshing and full of flavor

M - Light feeling with lots of carbonation, but stopping a safe margin from going overboard.

D - Scary drinkable! Addictive and refreshing and 8.5%!

Photo of jsh420
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

drink by 04/2011

poured into a unibroue tulip bright gold with a 3 finger head that grew out of the glass into a 4 finger head - head retention on this beer is the one of the best i have ever seen

smells of banana clove and grains - smells like a very strong hefe

taste is much like the smell with the grains shining through at the end

mouthfeel light and crisp for a 8.5%abv beer - perfect

drinkability is dangerous

overall this might be #1 in my books as far as taste and drinkability

Photo of nectar14
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 mL bottle.
Luminescent gold/yellow in color with a fluffy, tufty white head of about 2 inches or more.
Smells of some fruit, clove, grain/malt, and faint alcohol. Light in smell overall.
Taste is wonderfully pungent, with grain, malt, and some fruit-like flavors. Good cut on the palate... I think this would go very well with food.
Mouthfeel is great. It's light but full of flavor.
Drinkability is also great. I could have probably sucked down the entire 750 mL if it weren't for the other guys I had to share it with.

Photo of McDiddyPop
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

The beer poured a bright golden color. Crystal clear. A nice one-inch head slowly subsided to a quarter-inch ring with a thick ring of lace. Tiny bubbles slowly fight their way to the top. Sheets of lacing cover the glass as I drink. Impressive.

It has a very faint but pleasant aroma. Sweet grainy smell, a hint of yeast. None of the 8.5%ABV comes through in the smell.

Crisp sweet flavor. A mild tartness at the swallow with some earthy hops peeking in to make their presence known. A touch of yeast.

Finishes clean on my palate with a bit of dryness. My mouth can't get enough of this one. The flavor is so light and refreshing that it is deceiving. Alcohol is very well-hidden. This is probably the most sessionable beer I have had over 8%.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl bottle from systembolaget. Pale yellow with a crystal clear body if you pour it right. Champagne carbonation trails and a big white head that leaves a lasting layer of foam. Very pilsener like aroma, with saaz and pale malt, but an amazing tart citrus and pear character blends in too. Fruity sweet and tart all the same, with yeast and alcohol following. Elegant hop balance keeps it from being cloying. The body is suprisingly light and delicate for a beer this strong. I'm suprised at how easily it goes down. Very enjoyable and displays plenty of unique character compared to other belgians I've had.

Photo of bcdees47
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is pale gold in color with a good deal of bubbles in the glass and a thick, white, foamy head. Smells of cirtrus, and has a somewhat champagne-like quality on the palate, very clean, somewhat citrusy, warming alcohol on the back of the tongue. Very drinkable even at a moderately high ABV.

Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 6,971 ratings.