Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #1
Ranked #916
4.29 | pDev: 11.42%
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Notes: A Duvel is still seen as the reference among strong golden ales. Its bouquet is lively and tickles the nose with an element of citrus which even tends towards grapefruit thanks to the use of only the highest-quality hop varieties. This is also reflected in the flavour, which is beautifully balanced with a hint of spiciness. Thanks to its high CO2 content, this beer has a wonderful roundness in the mouth. A Duvel is both the perfect thirst quencher and the ideal aperitif.
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Reviews: 2,977 | Ratings: 8,387 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by iloveanarchy:
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4/5  rDev -6.8%

Oct 10, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Todd from California

4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl custom shorty with a bulbed neck. Best before date: 03/2003. Serve chilled.

Appearance: Cloudy (from escaped yeast) and pale. A grande creamy, chunk head adorns the top and sticks with great stay. The colour and head are perfection incarnate.

Smell: Delicate spice, pepper and clean malt sweetness.

Taste: Smooth and extremely creamy on the palate. A lively carbonation creates a light mouthfeel and crispness. Upfront flavours are bitter and sweet, with a lean on the sweet; distinct fruity malt esters, bold spiciness and rind-like twang that mellows and balances. Finishes slightly grain/dry with some residual spice and dextrin notes.

Notes: Deceivingly seductive and powerful. It lurs you with mesmerizing eye candy, then as the absolute refresher, then whacks the shite out of you with an 8.5% abv club. It's not called the "Devil" for nothing.

One of the best beers on the face of the Earth. Bow down to this god of beers.

Dec 06, 2000
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Ant777uk from England

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Doesn't look particularly good, though nice big head...

Smell is fruity and has about 10 different scents.

Very complex flavour, apricotty and flowery. And dry, complex. In terms of it's complexity, this is one of the best. Rationally a very good beer...

Definitely very apricotty.

For me, probably the best commercially available beer in the world. I have had this in Australia, England, France, Belgium...they sell it everywhere. Respect. Best cold in my opinion

Oct 19, 2015
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ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This one looks exceptional overall! This has a 3 to 4 finger thick head that is super puffy and cloud like, before eventually settling into a thick, very dense film over the beer! Lacing is simply perfect to be honest, with clumps of thick bubbles clinging to the side of my tulip glass. Carbonation looks to be fine and very lethargic in this relatively clear, super golden colored Belgian Ale!

S- There is a fruity nature about this in the aroma profile that lingers into the apple, pear and banana smells....on top of this, there is a very genuine yeasty biscuit smell that reminds me of fresh bread dough that hasn't been baked yet. Mild peppery spice notes round out the finish....a very well rounded aroma profile that goes between sweet and savory....quite nice and pleasantly unique for a golden Ale in my tastings to date!

T- The flavors are simply superb, following the aromas closely. The fruitiness of the brew really shines, and in particular the pear/apple flavors become much more prominent. The yeasty bread notes also shine through and follows through straight to the finish, which becomes just slightly dry and spiced.....clean on the palate.

M/O- Well I'd never know that this was 8.5% beer...simply delicious! The creamy nature of the carbonation and medium body make this almost dessert like and this needs nothing to accompany it. This sets the bar for golden ales in my opinion and is so highly drinkable....I'm afraid of how quickly this would catch up to one during a session. Highest regards and a full recommendation!

Aug 15, 2015
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1ale_man from Texas

4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one fine beer!! Poured from 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
Color of gold and clear with very slight haze.
Smells of grain and yeast. Reminds me of feed barrels in my grandfathers barn and bread.
Taste is awesome! Can taste apples, grain, yeast and hay. Sorta funky in a very good way.
As for feel++very carbonated/fizzy, but good.
This is a great beer! I will buy again as a treat to my self.
Wish it were less expensive at $15 for 4 pack.
Great, great beer!!!

Jan 10, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Everytime I open a bottle I am always asking, "Now why is this not the best beer in the world?" There are few beers that single-handedly define the style ideally. Duvel does it as well as any other beer.

A careful pour is needed as the beer's head fills the chalice at about twice the pace of the liquid itself. Medium straw and with brilliant clarity. The carbonation contiunes to build a head that is shows great stability, longevity and airiness. The beer leaves impressive lacing thoughout the session.

Moderate, yet complex aromas of fruity pears along with sharp acrid scents of under-rippened berries and apples. Softer pilsner malts soon find the olfactories, giving a firm malty base for the esters, acidity, and spices. Noble hops give a perfume and lemongrass note that again gives complexity while balancing the malts. Spiced with subtle white pepper and zesty alcohols, this beer takes on a ligtly vineous, berry-like, citrusy, lightly tart taste. Again the hop flavor perplexes the taste with a light earthiness that complements the fruits with vibrant lemmon counterparts.

The beer is as dry in the body as a beer can be without getting chalky or powdery. Acidity cleanses the palate very well. The beer expands wonderfully in the mouth with its abundance of controlled carbonation, yet evaporates with a cotton-candy like whimsy. Alcohols accentuate the carbonation and accompany the spiciness into the finish. Effortless to drink and dangerously smooth.

The beer is basically ideal!

Jun 11, 2005
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.76/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear pale gold color with a HUGE 1.5 to 2 inch head that fades to about 1 inch. Super perfect pillowy head and nice ring lacing. Probably the best head I have seen on a beer thus far in my beer drinking adventure.

S - Nice spices, peppercorns, subtle fruits, sweet malt.

T - Mainly sweet malts, very little bitterness, mild spices. Some subtle apple fruit taste shows through. A dry champagne like essence is present as well.

M - Perfect amount of carbonation made for small bubbles rising in my glass over the life span of this beer (which wasn't very long). Dry and crisp like champagne.

D - This is one of the best beers I have ever had. I have tried other beers in this same style but this is by far the best of the bunch. A remarkable beer that I will come back to for life.

Jul 07, 2010
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into an antique German pilsener glass

Pale yellow, steady stream of carbonation, thick, seriously frothy head with beautiful great lacings
First pour was crystal clear. Subsequent pours were hazy.

Aroma of grassy , biscuity malts, apples, pears, grapes

Taste of sweetness, apples, pears, biscuit

Light on the tongue. Hint of alcohol, dry finish,

Very interesting. Looking at the liquid, it looks so pale, clear and unassuming. Definitely unique flavors and aromas . Great beer

Sep 13, 2015
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JLSIV from Georgia

4.71/5  rDev +9.8%

Poured beautiful slightly hazy straw color with a billowy, long lasting white head. Excellent lacing.
Clove like aroma, with peppery notes, taste is unique to this brand, almost pepper like with a good spice mix, some yeast in background. Mouthfeel is more dry than full, with a light warmth at the finish

Overall, this is worth the price and hype. Truly outstanding in all aspects

Aug 17, 2014
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before January 2014. Served in a Surly Darkness glass.

A - Three fingers of creamy white foam settle to a thick meringue of a cap, leaving splotch intricate lacework. Body is a lightly hazed white peach flesh color, with streams of bubbles visibly streaming upwards. Reference quality appearance for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, grains of paradise, some light stone and citrus fruit sweetness, hint of banana, lightly buttery pilsner malt and grain character, and a touch of candi sugar. There's perhaps a hint of alcohol present as it warms up.

T - Citrus and stone fruit character is a bit more pronounced, but otherwise the flavor is a bit more smoothed out. Grain, spicy Belgian yeast, pilsner malt. Not as sweet as the aroma. No alcohol in the flavor whatsoever.

M - The carbonation is harsh and mildly unpleasant, even when you take the style into account. Grainy, dry texture, minimal alcohol warmth, medium body, with only minimal stickiness in the finish.

D - A very good Belgian beer made on an impressively large scale. While there are other takes on the style that I prefer I would happily have this without complaint. Very easy to drink considering the higher ABV - guess the name is appropriate.

Sep 23, 2011
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very large white foam head with long retention on a clear bright golden body. Aroma of Belgian yeast, coriander, herbal hops, lemon custard, musty malts. Flavors provide an excellent Belgian experience with nice yeast presence, very herbal hop flavors, tart citrus, some pine resin and a little more alcohol presence than I feel us typical of the style. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation with a dry finish. As stated above, the Belgian character is excellent with this one being very complex and yet still nicely drinkable. I am surprised I have gone this long without having tried this one.

Apr 12, 2013
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Mellowship from Portugal

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Having lived in Brussels for some time, this was my to-go beer for just about every circumstance. It is sold at Belgian supermarkets and groceries stores for about 1,20€ a 33 cl bottle. Lucky me!
First of all, there are some slight batch differences in Duvel (pronounced Doo-ee-vell), with some bottles sporting a clear transparent liquid and others with a small deposit of yeast at the bottom. I advise to turn your bottle slowly to check if there is some sediment and if so, to try to blend it, for it will contribute to a much better aroma.
The look is of more of a golden ale than a blonde one, with thick foam, almost like porter-thick, that grows fast upon pouring. The sediments, when present, gives a slight greyish translucent aspect.
The smell of Duvel is one of the most identifiable beer smells. I could pick it up any time in a blind tasting. It has yeast all over, and a deep sniff will fill your nostrils with a very distinctive hop, giving away what is yet to come upon tasting it.
And indeed, the yeast comes first but not with that typical flavour of bread. It is more of a combination of the yeast with malt, bringing up some faint spicy notes such as cumin, but mainly citrus notes such as a little bit of bergamot, coriander and lemon-grass, and then some heavier notes such as caramel, that combined with the high content of ethanol, gives its particular roundness. The hops then settle in. Not being a strongly hopped beer, the alcohol helps the hop flavours to reach all the corners of your mouth and to explode in contact with the air.
Just remember of the high content of ethanol. It is a very addictive beer, but with one and a half bottle, you'll start to get tipsy!
I think the Duvel brewers have made a very good job keeping a lot of presence and personality in an industrialised beer.

Jan 17, 2019
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911CROFT from England

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into the appropriate Duvel Tulip. Paid £2.00 for a single bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy, pale, golden-straw coloured body with masses of intense, fine, streaming carbonation. A huge, four-finger in height, foamy, pure white coloured head with fantastic retention, gradually sinks to a dense cap, leaving clumps of thick, sticky lacing on the glass.

On the nose, delicate, fruity esters of banana, apple, and pear as well as spicy notes of clove and pepper float above a trace of crisp, light malt. Taste follows the nose almost exactly, adding just a touch of lemon rind to the fruity and spicy flavour profile, while in the mid palate, crisp, pilsner-like malts are bolder than the aroma suggested. A gently spicy, grassy and earthy hop bitterness builds towards the finish, joined by a touch of alcohol that adds a little warmth to lingering spices. In the mouth a light body and masses of endless sparkling carbonation give a champagne-like-feel, that’s crisp, dry and refreshing from start to finish.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Strong and complex but delicate and hugely drinkable, widely available at an excellent price point. My go to Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Recommended.

Nov 09, 2015
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Chiefy770 from Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 fl. oz. Bottle
"Best Before" February 2017 (Printed on the label)
Reviewed on August 6th, 2015
Served in a Tulip Glass

Poured a pale yellow body. Cloudy and bubbly. A towering bright white head formed and slowly collapsed, leaving plenty of frothy lace behind.

Bright notes of apple and pear were followed by thicker notes of banana. A spicy layer of yeast served as a backbone for this brew.

Sweet notes of apple and pear instantly collided with sharp notes of hops. Sweeter notes prevailed, almost taking a juicy turn. Clean notes of alcohol flared up, finishing semi/dry. Peppery notes from the yeast lingered in the finish. Incredibly crisp. Medium-bodied. High carbonation.

One of the best beers I have had the privilege of drinking. One of my highest recommendations.

Aug 07, 2015
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jp32 from Michigan

4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pale straw yellow in color with LOTS of visible carbonation. Large, fast-moving bubbles race throughout the beer, and it's topped with a huge fluffy white head.

Herbal notes of grass and hay pair with lemon zest and yeast to round out the aroma.

Flavor is bursting with complex fruit flavors. Sweet lemon, banana, clove, apples, white grape juice, and too many more to try and separate individually.

The carbonation on this beer is a whirlwind of magnificence. This must be the highest level of carbonation I've ever felt in a beer. Truly refreshing. I can't think of another beer I've had that is quite like this one. And then add in the fact it's 8.5%?!!!? Pure excellence.

*Note: The big white frothy head is a BEAST on this beer. It never leaves the glass, and leaves thick foam-sealed lacings everywhere.

Nov 04, 2015
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured--from a 330 ml/11.2 oz short. Relatively newly born--August 2016, so only two months old.

Look--Classic unfiltered cloudy (just beyond hazy) and pale-gold. Big rocky head, more like a wit than a Belgian strong. The head has some serious staying power, and the lacing is creamy and fabulous throughout. This is just a stupdenous-looking beer.

Aroma--Perhaps a bit subdued in the aroma department compared to some of its fellows, but still very complex. Fruity aromas mixed with spice and just-there maltiness.

Taste--The first word that comes to mind, sip after sip, is balance. In every possible way. Malty sweet. And fruity sweet. Yet just-so on the bitterness. There is also an herbal or spice note that combines with a distinctively strong carbonation to provide a dry kick to finish. The alcohol is definitely there, but strictly as a pleasing and additional drying element--no bite or burn.

Feel--Difficult to separately quantify or qualify from the taste, because it is such a strong component of that aspect. Wonderful carbonation and warming booziness provides a fine drying finish to a complex flavor. "Crisp" doesn't do this justice.

Overall--Everything that makes me favor the Belgian/Flemish approach to brewing is here and then some. If you haven't--you must and soon.

Oct 22, 2016
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B1gears from Minnesota

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful golden color. Huge white head that seems to last an impossibly long time -- the first and last sips are both foam. Clean and crisp with a subtle fruit, grapefruit and maybe pear, flavor. Very well-carbonated. Dry finish. Beer just doesn't get better than this.

I love this beer and I'm not generally a fan of Belgian beers.

Jul 20, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330 ml stubby brown bottle with a best before date of 09 2006. Quick tips on how to pour the beer as well as “Bottle Conditioned” on the label.

Appearance: A perfect amount of foamy head from a trained pour into the appropriate Duvel glass, the lace clings to the glass in patchy clumps. The clarity is great as the pouring went well and the yeast stayed in the glass. Very pale in colour, some would confuse this with a lager as far as the light golden hue.

Smell: Hints of apple skin (juicy fruit), clean alcohol and a slight yeast bite in the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Clean pale malt flavour throughout. Three big flashes of yeast, hop bitterness and alcohol hit the palate. Big cleansing crispness makes you want an other sip. A tad juicy in the middle, with a big warming alcohol landing middle to end. Mild medicinal phenols peak in the middle and nearly vanish as the alcohol takes over.

Notes: A top shelf brew, this one does it for me and then some. Pretty much sex in a bottle and the devil told me to drink it. Duvel is close to dry champagne but so much more. Between the bitterness and the sheer crispness, this beer is what I expect from the Belgian strong pale ale style.

Dec 09, 2003
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RoyalT from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Very light colored (yellow) for a BSPA. The head is monstrous even with a conservative pour. I emptied the bottle in my glass, went upstairs to watch the top half of a Mariner’s inning, came back downstairs, and it was still there.

Smell – A complex aroma. I can pick up some fruit, malt, and yeast. Pleasant.

Taste – The light appearance is deceptive. This is a heavy hitter, and it’s not just malt, yeast, and light fruit. You have to wait for it, but there’s nice spicy bitterness and even some evident hops past the crest of the standard BSPA flavors.

Not to go overboard, but this is a good brew. It is fun and complex. I know that it is sold at thousands of grocery stores around the country and I may sound like a bumpkin for belaboring the point, but The Devil is very interesting indeed. I have often dismissed it myself in the past (thinking of it in the 3.0 or 3.5 area), until I actually sat down and took some time with it for the review.

Mouthfeel – Again, this is right on. Well carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability – The bottle didn’t even make it to the end of the review. So what if half the Bud-drinking losers you know have it in their fridge's – it’s great!

Comments – I really developed an appreciation and respect for this beer after taking my time with it. This is well done.

PS: Large amounts of sediment that I'm not supposed to drink - but I do.

Update: A sampling of this in 2004 shows amazing consistancy. After sporting a gorgeous appearance from several different bottles I’m upping this rating by 0.5.

Aug 08, 2003
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metter98 from New York

4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and poured into a tulip glass with a three finger high bright white head that has excellent retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The smell isn't that strong, but there are notes of citrusy and floral hops in the nose along with some hints of fruit, spices and yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the aroma but is much stronger and has flavors of apples, bananas, pears, spices and yeast. There's a sight amount of bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't detract from the taste.
M: It feels light-bodied, crisp and very highly carbonated on the palate. There's also a significant amount of dryness.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden.

Jul 22, 2010
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endovelico from Portugal

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a slinder Baloon glass. Best before date: 08/2011. Taken from notes. Reviewed under medium low artificial light.

Appearance: Forms a four thinger rocky white head. Semi hazy yellow brew. High perceived effervescence. Excellent head retention given that the head lasts thourought. Thick cap. The lacing is also excellent, being composed of big thick patches and rings of foam scattered around the glass.

Aroma: Foreground is mostly Malt and a Alcoholic zing. On the background there is Banana and slight spiciness from the Yeast esters. Well balanced, could use a little more spiciness on the nose to be honest.

Taste: Malt sweetness, Banana, bubblegum, slight spiciness which meshes well with the slight alcohol zing. Saaz like hop spaciness and flavour. Orange peel?

Palate: Medium to Medium High Bitterness. Medium to Medium light Body. Medium carbonation. Clean Finish, with lingering Btterness from the hops.

Drinkability: Well balanced overall with the spiciness from the hops and Yeast bi-products masking well the high ABV of the brew. Fits the style guidelines. Its also very light bodied and easy to drink if you take into account the ABV.

On a final note: A legendary beer, what can i say?

Jul 05, 2009
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FredGaudreault32 from Canada (QC)

4.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked 2 of these at my local liquor store for $3.55 each. Comes in a good looking old-style stubby bottle. Pours hazy with a HUGE pillowy head. And when I say HUGE, I'm not kidding.This is BY FAR the biggest head I've seen on a beer so far, and it lasts for a very long time, which adds to the experience in my opinion. The taste is just what you expect from a belgian golden. Taste reminds me of apples for some reason, which is a good thing since I love apples. In my opinon, you haven't drunk beer until you drank Duvel. A great, great beer!

Jan 27, 2017
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Murky golden color with pretty high carbonation. 3-4 finger white head.

S: Malts, malts, malts!

T: Really nice taste. Very drinkable besides the high ABV.

F: Malty and nice carbonation. Feels great on the palate :)

O: Good beer but highly overrated nonetheless. Would I have it again? Of course!

May 16, 2016
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JNPIII127 from New York

5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

beer pours a beautiful light brown with what looks like three inches of head that lasts and lasts and lasts. The taste is smooth and clean with little to no hop bitterness and a somewhat sweet taste. Overall and outstanding readily available beer that is now on my highly recommended list.

Sep 07, 2015
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Squire from Mississippi

4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Light clear yellow color with World class cap and lacing.

Aroma is like sticking your nose into a bouquet of fragrant tea roses. Speaking as an amateur rosarian I can say that. As an amateur cook I can also find Herbes de Provence, particularly lavender. I can't think of any other beer that has such a delightful fragrance.

Taste is marvelous. This is so good on so many levels it's hard to find a place to start. Floral hoppiness is in perfect balance with the rest. Malt is rich without being heavy, sweet without being cloying, full while remaining clean and a perfect example of when just enough is enough. Malt, yeast and hops all work together in a harmonious complexity that is seamless from start to finish.

Texture is medium.

Overall this is a head and shoulders above the rest sort of beer. A blazing pathfinder that still out distances it's many imitators.

May 23, 2016
Duvel from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 8387 ratings