Duvel | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

2,743 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: 2,743 | Ratings: 7,631
Photo of champ103
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Huge white head with a lot of bubbles rising to the top, other than that, a bright golden color (looks like a pilsner). Leaves a ton of lace on the side of the glass.

S: Faint hops, malt, yeast with floral and citrus (still reminds me of a pilsner)

T: Complex spices with a little alcohol burn. Hops, malt and citrus are present with a good amount of banana flavors.

D: Good for how high the alcohol content is, but it is still very noticable. Don't drink this too fast.

I like this beer a lot, but Belgian strong pale ales are not my favorite. As I have noted, this reminds of a pilsner but with more alcohol. Duvel is one of the best example of a Belgian strong pale ale though.

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

My rating is based on the warning that you'd better let this stuff set for at least 5-10 minutes after pouring, or you'll burn out your nostrils with a biting gas, and your throat as well.

Pour it slowly- as the bottle say, "Pour Unhurriedly."

A= nearly clear-yellow, immediate massive head at least equal to the fluid. The head gradually settles, forming chunky thick islands of foam that look like half-melted marshmallows.

S= nice, inviting, florals, evidence of the hops-bitters, slight reminder of lemonade, some bubblegum scent after it's been sitting for 10 or more minutes. Very Belgian-Ale typical. Whiffs of strong alcohol.

T= a little watery for my taste, and yet it rates so highly. Lots of sour-bitter hops, florals, typical trademark Belgian flavor, evidence of its 8.5%ABV alcohol on the tongue.

M= a bit more alcohol-burn than I like, and aftertaste more reminiscent of wine-sour than hops-bitters. A little more watery and lacking balanced flavor and bouquet than I'd like, afterwards.

D= as far as alcohol, not very drinkable in quantity, and for my own personal tastes, there are many other Belgian's that I'd prefer if I were going to knock off a quantity of 8.5%ABV beers.

I've had this in Belgium, where I noted a malt scent and slight sweet hints in the nose, possibly a taste of cardamom, and how it seemed to change character in the taste as it sat, over time.

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

A: poured a pale straw yellow with a finger of bubbly white head that left great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: lite belgian yeast aroma with slight citrus and spice notes that also had faint booze notes.

T: apples, belgian yeast, and cloves strike first on the palate with apices and citrus accents. It also had some booze punching through the flavor.

M: duvel was light bodied with a good amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but citrusy crisp finish.

D: duvel drank very good and has been a go to beer when there is not a big variety of beer at certain liquor stores but has always been a tasty beer for me.

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

Sampled multiple times. About time to review it. Poured a off straw colored yellow with light hues of amber. Head retention was ample and remained throughout the tasting. Decent lacing as well.

The smell has a strong indication of Belgium quality. Some light malt with a touch caramel. More noticeable is the spices and fruity esters. Definite cloves and cinnamon as well as some bananas and a bit of pears as well.

The taste has a good malt backing with a basic taste but the real flavor is noticed in the spice, yeast and fruity esters. The spice has some good biscuit flavor that reminds me of an apple pie. The fruitiness accentuates this but has more of a banana taste. This becomes more noticeable in the aftertaste. And the yeast has a smoothness to it that is not overly alcohol even with a high ABV.

The body is med to high. Very easy to drink with low phenol flavors. Overall a good example of a Belgium is pretty widely distributed.

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Photo of jim102864
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Smell: very strong hop aromas. Some flowery scent.

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

Mouthfeel: medium body.

Overall: Good Belgium ale. I liked it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Served in 20oz stemless red wine glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would recommend this beer.

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

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

Smell - Slighty sweet, Strongish and very slighty bitterish.

Taste - Bitter and Strong.

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated, light.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 2,743 ratings.