Duvel - Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
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Ratings: 6,268 | Reviews: 2,574 | Display Reviews Only:
4.31/5 rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A: Pale golden colour, with a slight bit of cloudiness. Poured from an 11.2 fl oz stubby bottle in to a Chimay chalice, because that's what I was using for my St Bernardus, and I forgot to switch to my Duvel tulip. It looks the same in both glasses. Large, two-finger head even in chalice (leaves 3-4 finger head in tulip), which recedes slowly, leaving heavy lacing and a mountain of thick-yet-light foam in the shape of a cone in the middle of the beer. In two words, the head is MASSIVE and ROCKY.
S: The chalice has adversely affected the smell on this, in the sense that it is lighter and not as pungent as it is when it is served in a Duvel tulip. It has an alcoholic Pilsener smell, with reminiscences of what you wish malt liquor tasted like, and a pronounced smell of both pepper(?) and Yoder's or Helluva Good ground horseradish with vinegar (i.e. the kind of condiment you buy prepared to slather on Kielbasa or other Polish sausage). Spicy hops (dry-hopping?) jump out of the glass. There are subdued undertones of Belgian yeast and biscuity bread
The carbonation veritably jumps out of the glass, so it also has a "tingly" smell. The 8.5% ABV is noticeable in the aroma, although it's mostly covered by the pepper and horseradish.
T: Spicy, alcoholic Pilsener with horseradish and white pepper with undertones of citrus. Right off the bat, you can taste (and feel) the hop bite - quite a change from my normal Dark Belgians and Trappists. It's a bit bitter and astringent, although not very hoppy: I think the bitterness comes from the alcohol. There is also a smell of funky Belgian yeast in there, although not as funky, nor within 100 miles as being as strong as that in a Belgian Strong Dark/Quadrupel Ale. The malt is subdued, the hops are present and accounted for, There's a bitter, puckering, incredibly clean (cleaning?) sensation as the beer exits the mouth. There's a sweet-and-sour aftertaste, much more pleasant than, but akin to, an American macro lager or Stella Artois after Emeril Lagasse "kicked it up a notch".
M: Carbonation, and carbonation. It adds to the bitterness and astringency. A dryness and carbonation which, combined, finish more like Champagne (especially Moet et Chandon White Star) than most beers, something I've found is common with quite a few Belgians.
D: Very high, considering the very light and airy taste for 8.1% ABV.
O: This beer is expansive in the mouth, and contracts on the finish. I don't know of a better way to put it, except for using spacial terms. If you've not had it, try it. A solid 4, maybe a bit higher. For the style, it's a 5.0, but I've never had any other Belgian Strong Pale Ales to compare it to, so I'm going off of my personal taste, which tends towards maltier and heavier beers, such as Trappists, Porters, and Stouts ("a meal in a glass"). For those who like lighter, hoppier, spicier, airier beers (as compared to the malty denseness of my favourites) this will be ranked more highly - but it's a delicious beer even for my unaccustomed taste buds. I generally buy a 4-pack of this whenever I head to the package store to replenish my supply of good beer every week or so. (Damn, I spend $150 on beer a week. Damn. I'll have to do something about that. Maybe Miller High Life? or cheap liquor?)
I'm judging much on personal taste, and not-so-much judging based on the style alone. There goes my BJCP certification.
Food pairings: Kielbasa jumps to mind as ideal - and food pairings rarely occur to me. I often have to use the internet to pair beers and meals. Secondarily, fare such as sauerkraut and bratwurst come to mind: German pub fare or Oktoberfest staples.
Serving type: bottle
02-12-2013 14:30:28 | More by Chrysostom
4.31/5 rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Served chilled in a large goblet wine glass
Pours a beautiful golden liquor with a big fluffy head that settles into a thin layer of foam.
As soon as I poured this beer, I could smell it while it was a foot away from my face. Its aroma is reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in terms of crispness and citrus notes. Hints of banana and cloves with just the faintest notes of earth and stone fruit rounding it out. Alcohol is hidden masterfully.
Flavor profile is quite carbonated, which is pleasant because it isn't a 'sharp' or off-putting carbonation. Buttery and oily mouthfeel that coats the palate and leads to a long, dry finish. Nice chalky/dry pull and a pleasant bitterness round out a wonderful drinking experience.
I bought a 4-pack and most definitely will purchase a corked bottle to age. A true triumph!
Serving type: bottle
02-11-2013 01:00:50 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
4.36/5 rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from bottle at roughly 40 degrees into, what else, my Duvel tulip.
A: Extremely clean light gold with a huge white three finger head. Looks perfect in this glass.
S: Again, very clean. Some lemon and citrus mixed in with a note of white grapes.
T: Damn that's crisp. A good amount of spice at the front, but mellows out. Just a very well-balanced beer.
M: I keep coming back to this word, but the best way to describe this beer is clean. A good amount of carbonation (which adds to the pleasant appearance). Would be very easy to have too many of these without picking up on the ABV until you stand up.
O: I will never call myself a huge fan of Belgian-style beers, but this is one of the best I've ever had. Add in the fact that this beer looks simply perfect in its own glass, and this was an enjoyable experience.
Serving type: bottle
02-09-2013 18:46:11 | More by Andrew61923
Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
95 out of 100 based on 6,268 ratings.