Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
7,977 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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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Ratings: 7,977 |  Reviews: 2,847
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz funky little bottle. Served 40-45 degrees in a sniffer.

Pours a pale yellow slight haze. Amazing head, almost looks like meringue – foamy, creamy, and soft. It lasts for a long while and leaves thick lacing. Ample carbonation. Can’t say no to these looks.

Sweet malt, sugary and light toasty biscuit/nut. Hops balance well: floral and spicy, interesting sharpness pokes out.

Medium bodied and thick. Dry and complex. Twangy hops first, floral and spicy. Deeply sweet malt base, toasty biscuit and mild nut. Sweet and tart fruit character. Distinct yeastiness. Mild warmth, seems to struggle with the alpha acids. Decently bitter. Plenty of carbonation, enough to eat through one’s tongue. Finishes tart, bitter, and dry.

As it warms in temperature, it warms accordingly in alcohol - almost astringent flashes pop out every so often. Yeast personality becomes more prominent. Sweeter more-complex malt and bitterness. Deeper we plunge into the rabbit hole.

The infamous Duvel. Strong yet subtle. Almost painfully enjoyable. What can I say? Interesting brew, at least. Not to be taken lightly. Or perhaps best: a force to be reckoned with.

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Photo of taylocd
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was from the 330ml bottle with a 'Best Before' date of 09 2013, and a lot ID of L1951 0441.

Appearance - The brew initially poured up a mostly clear yellow gold, but as with many bottle conditioned beers, it was clouded by the final bit of liquid from the bottle. The head was a tall, porous, and bone white. It left great lacing that clung to the tulip like meringue. The head was reduced to about an eighth of an inch by the last sip, but, importantly, it did remain throughout the session. 4.5 of 5

Smell - From the bottle, this one had a truly fantastic 'Beer Aroma' that was much more than I expected from the small bottle opening. Unfortunately, I can't adequately describe that great inital aroma, so I'll just leave it at that. Once poured, it seemed to lose some of that powerful smell, but if did have a sort of spicy (peppery even?) phenolic scent. 3.5 of 5

Taste - The first sip of this one had a prominent hop bitterness, but as the beer warmed, that characteristic gave way completely to the spicy and almost peppery flavor that matched the aroma. The taste that did linger, however, again hinted to the hop bitterness. It had a very complex flavor, without being overpowering in any way. 4.5 of 5

Feel - The carbonation level was as close to perfect as I can imagine. The balance of the beer was ever-so-slightly thin, but it made for a very easy drinker, even at 8.5% ABV. The beer finished very crisply. 4.5 of 5

Overall - The only part of this brew that didn't overwhelm was the aroma, but even that was still better than most. 4.5 of 5

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Photo of mariposafan
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was preparred to be less than impressed with this beer. Wrong again!

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. It poured a hazy light golden color with an amazingly fluffy head that stayed and stayed. Nice lacing on the glass showing a timeline of the entire drink.

The smell was citrusy with some banana - it reminded me of a hefeweizen almost but with an underlying maltiness. There was also something a little sharp about the smell that had me worried that there'd be too much bitterness in the taste.

Not to worry. The taste was just fine. There was a sharpness there but it wasn't tongue clenching bitterness so much as a citrus bite. Malty, fruity, altogether enjoyable.

The mouthfeel was a little thinner than I'd hoped for with this much flavor but still very nice. The carbonation that produces that amazing head kept it nicely tingly without feeling like a soda.

This isn't the sort of thing I'd even consider drinking multiples of at one sitting but for what it is it's very drinkable. The alcohol didn't make itself known until I stood up.

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Photo of Keffa
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue Ephemere tulip.

A: This is the best looking beer I have had, bar none. Slightly cloudy/hazy pale yellow, rocky/fluffy sticky head that stayed around for about 10 minutes (and it wasn't a vigorous pour either) and settled into a 1/2" cap and left lacing all over the glass. This is what a beer should look like, IMO.

S: Lemon, lightly flowery hops, cracker, a little bit of Belgian yeast, slightly musty/earthy smell in the background, a little bit of a toffee sweetness. This smells very, VERY enticing.

T: Holy crap. First taste is a lemony hop and Belgian yeast, turns into a cracker/bready like malt and a little bit of that earthy note on the aroma. Turns into a slightly fruity finish that leaves very little hint that it's such a high ABV. Extremely good flavors going on, and not one flavor takes the lead, IMO. They all play their part and do so with no problem with going into the background while another flavor comes forward.

M: Very tingly, highly carbonated, extremely smooth, almost creamy. Nice feel for sure.

D: Very easy to drink, almost to the point of being ridiculous. The slight hint every so often a slight hint of the high ABV is the only thing that keeps this from being able to be pounded away, not that you'd want to with it being 8.5%.

This is one of my new favorites. Extremely good flavor, well balanced between the Belgian yeast/floral, slightly fruity hops/cracker-like malt that shows a little sweetness. This is a Devilish brew indeed. Partake with caution. It'll get you in trouble if you aren't careful.

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Photo of eberesford
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle - pours with a magnificent white frorhy head that leaves rich lacing. Aroma: bread, banana, peppery, slightly sour. Flavour: Banana, pepper, coriander. Hugely rich and complex yet not overwhelming in the mouth.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer that's long overdue for a review.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden colour, two fingers of bright white bubbly head with relentless retention, fat and chunky sheets of sticky lacing and solid body carbonation. Outstanding presentation.

S - Nice and fruity with bananas, cloves, nutmeg and a touch of pineapple.

T - Very sweet and fruity with bananas and cloves dominating the flavours and the higher ABV is very nicely hidden. Touch of citrus flavours linger on the finish with a slight bitterness that remains. Top notch Belgian flavours with a nice balance between fruits and spices.

M - A medium bodied ale which fills the palette nicely, goes down smooth and provides you with a touch of alcohol heat.

D - Given the high ABV this stuff is delicious and incredibly drinkable. I can understand why this offering is so well rated, and is highly recommended to any fan of Belgians.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foamy and pillow-like, bright white head with remarkable retention. Thick, condensed lacing with great strength. Bright golden in color with a slight chill haze; noticeable spirals of carbonation.

Semi-sweet candied sugar aroma. Mild mix of corriander and pepper with a touch of diacetyl.

Sweet candied malt character. A wonderfully balanced peppered spice that gives the sugary sweetness a nice kick. A touch of earthiness and hints of citric fruit; lemon and orange peel. Some whaffs of alcohol and diacetyl in the aftertaste.

Light bodied; smooth and syrup-like on the palate. Prickly, but not annoyingly overcarbonated.

Light and refreshing with a lot of substance. A classic that deserves the credit it gets.

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Photo of stof0048
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Used a Derlirium Tremens glass. Huge, light head on this beer. Beer pours perfectly clear golden color with bubbles rising to the top like champagne. Head diminishes somewhat after beer sits for several moments. Lacing is incredible... still have bubbles hanging on to the top of the glass 10 minutes after the pour.

Smell: Smells stongly of yeast and maybe hay.

Taste: Taste is quite good. Starts out stinging the tongue a bit from all of the carbonation. Very yeasty taste, smooth with little bite at the end. Tastes somewhat fruity. Fades into a bready taste. Glides over the tongue smoothly with an explosion of bubbles... very unique and pleasant.

Drinkability: This beer goes down quite easily and could easily drink more than one.

Overall a good, solid Belgian.

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Photo of Bleedingshrimp
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally time to review one of my absolute favorite beers. Poured ever so slowly from a 11.2 ounce bottle into my Duvel tulip (is there really another way?). This is hands down the most beautiful looking beer I have ever seen. Straw colored with the most breathtaking stormcloud of white towering foam. If poured correctly you should have roughly half beer and half head in your glass. The head retention is pretty amazing and the lacing extensive. Really a site to behold. The smell is hay, pepper, and lemon zest. Taste is light, crisp at first. Taste of rich spices like coriander and pepper, a little lemon, and some nice buttery malts. Aftertaste is that wonderful spice flavor followed by a nice glowing warming sensation in your belly and body. This must be what it feels like to give your spirit a bath. Alcohol feeling is present and strong, but not so abundant in the taste. Still a quaffer and a sipper...take her real easy. Drinkability suffers slightly because of the high alcohol. Overall, one of my top ten favorite beers and one that never dissapoints.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Frothy two finger head with tons of staying power, and I poured it gentle. Bright gold color with plenty of effervesence.

S- Spicy/lemony hops with some estery yeast notes and a background hint of grainy malt.

T- Although the grainy malt sweetness is present it is very much in the background. The esters and noble hops work wonders together as neither one drowns out the other. Subtlely complex throughout with some peppery alcohol in the finish.

M- Light and well carbonated.

D- It's easy to forget the 8.5% on this one.

Worthy of it's following, and being the standard by which all other strong pales are measured against. I don't know if I'd say it was the best, but it's sure up there.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is, without a doubt, the greatest looking beer of all time!! It looks as if someone put cool whip in yer brew. Great creamy head, never goes away with some nice fruit esthers. Lacing all the way down the glass. Smooth beer and highly drinkable as the alcohol is undetectable. Feels remarkable on the palate. I highly recommend this one and it is resonably priced.

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Photo of Lilmikey1989
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Surely this brilliantly clear, incredibly fair and glossy yellow beverage has been mislabeled. The Devil? This? But it's so sunny and pristine and, with the massive white cloud atop it, almost angelic looking. That head, for which this beer (and Belgian beer in general) is renown, is truly epic in size and sheds in big clumps along the sides of the glass.

Dynamic yeast and bready malts greet you with a tight, warming embrace as if they were your parents before seeing you go off to war. Children commonly use stuffed animals or blankets as objects of comfort - beer drinkers have Duvel. Passionately phenolic yeast, a confident maltiness and some sneaky hops combine for something ambrosial.

Mirroring their performance in the smell, savory notes of dried herbs, warm white bread crusts, vine-ripe hops, dollops of apple and pear puree and a dash of something zesty are the flavour precedent of the Belgian Strong Golden Ale style and the yardstick against which all others continue to be measured. This intricate blend of fruity esters, spicy phenols, gritty hops and pale malts is the touchstone of stability and harmony in beer.

Duvel is curiously light-bodied for a beer that is reportedly so strong; you'd never guess close to the 8.5% that the label lists. The beer is clean and quenching as a Pilsner, but with the added complexities of a finely-tuned Belgian yeast. Those zestful phenols and a strongly carbonated effervescence are what steer that wheel, with soft water, earthy bitterness and the sweetness from the added sugars accompanying in the backseat.

Every genre of music and film have their all-time classics, the mainstay and must-haves for any collector, the benchmarks upon which so many others have been either inspired or emulated. For Belgian beer, Duvel is certainly just that. It is at once light and refreshing yet bold and complex, simple but elaborate, a beer so suited to quick, mindless quaffing precisely because it is so mindful of balance and proportion. A true magnum opus.

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Photo of droomyster
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I feel as comfortable sipping this beer by day as I do by night. The most beautiful foamy head I've ever seen, and it lasts forever in the Duvel glass, sitting atop a gold so intense it almost glows. Fragrant fruity spiciness, sweet yet crisp and clean.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A fresh 750 mL bottle with best by 2010 stamped on the side.

A - poured a clear golden yellow with much bubbling within and a massive rocky 3" head that retained beautifully and towered over the top of the tulip glass. Excellent islands of lace as well.

S - dear me, this was quite a trip! Fresh hoppy notes mixed with light malts, hints of lemony citrus, and yeast. It wasn't pronounced at first but it did so as it warmed

T - very balanced hoppiness and maltiness, much like a good German pils but with a deeper level of complexity of the Belgians. Hoppy bitterness, floral and citrusy pucker.

M - light bodied and well carbonated. Soothing on the palate

D - extremely drinkable for a 8.5% ale. You nearly don't taste the high alcohol until it warms a bit.

Overall - Wow this is astonishingly drinkable for an 8.5% abv beer. Quite different from what I expected. The pilsener taste was a pleasant surprise. I'd say this could be a white wine substitute. Substantial enough to complement a pizza or an Italian sausage or could very well be paired with some fish or grilled chicken. Swirling the bottle and adding yeast gives it a whole new level of complexity and added cloudiness to the glass. The alcohol will catch up to you so if you bought a 750 mL like I did, please enjoy it with a special someone. As the temperature increases, so does complexity and detectability of the alcohol. I will definitely buy again and see how it ages.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz poured into a Duvel tulip (obviously). From notes, reviewed 09/09/10

A - Fluffy, snow white head with large bubbles. Formed a perfect plateau in the middle which remained. Dark, lemon yellow beer.

S - Typical belgian yeasty smell. Slight citrus, spice and alcohol.

T - Fruity but not over citrus-y. Strong yeast with lingering sugars.

M - Crisp and crisp. Tingly carbonation on tongue followed by mild alcohol heat.

D - Basic for the style but a great example. Always liked this one.

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Photo of AndrewC
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tonyf55
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the classic Duvel bottle into a tulip glass - as it should be.

Visual (5): Large, lasting, foaming white head made up of large bubbles producing a heavy thick lacing. Lightly cloudy, golden semi-transparent clarity (almost like a cloudy lager). Active carbonation with a lot of small bubbles,

Aroma (4): Moderate to heavy yeasty smell; doughy. Notes of hoppy undertones including hints of citrus and herbs. Complex balance.

Taste (4.5): Slightly bitter (like a good pale ale), with the hoppy aromas coming through over the course of the taste. Leaves a light, lingering spicy aftertaste at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel (4): Lighter body than most Belgian Ales. Carbonation bubbles are evident giving a fizzy course texture. Alcoholic finish lasts.

Overall (4): A fantastic looking beer, lacing on the tulip looks top-notch the whole way through. The clean, dry, crisp taste coupled with the carbonated mouthfeel and the warming of the alcohol combines for a beautifully crated Belgian Pale. The bottle fermentation is reflected in the smell which carries into the taste undertones. Well rounded.

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Photo of InandOutBeerGuys
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This may very well be my favorite brew, seems to be a perfect marrige of pils & trippel. Poured into my favorite Trmens glass I found it remarkably drinkable especially for an 8.5% beer. A bit hoppier than typical belgian gold ales but nowhere near dominating. A regenerating white head & golden hue are somewhat hypnotic I keep staring. Sip after bigger sip and so on, I pour another "Devil"

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Photo of Mercarood
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NardiByNature
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Truly golden in color, mostly clear, hyperactive streams of carbonation. A paper-white head builds and settles into a pretty thick covering.. You can actually see the bubbles rising up and add themselves to the head.

S: Bananas off the bat; honey, cut grass. Apple juice when it's warmer.

T: Hops come through nicely to compliment the banana/biscuity softness.

M: Damn--a fizzy shock completely wakes up your mouth. Dry and bubbly finish, a little bitter from the hops.

Overall: Tantalizing.

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Photo of Rayek
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy brass with active carbonation. Huge rocky and soapy white head has excellent retention. Leaves patches of lace.

S: Coriander, lemon and sourdough. The weakest part of the beer.

T: The weak nose is quickly forgotten as a bevy of spices hit the tongue. Clove, coriander and pepper hit in equal doses right off the bat. Straw flavors creep in underneath. As the beer warms, apple and pear make themselves known. Finishes dry and lemony tart, with a slight sourness.

M: Medium light body belies the beer's strength. High carbonation level adds an extra bite to the spiciness.

D: Almost too drinkable, given the ABV. I was through my glass in no time and ready for another. Truly a classic.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well it's about time I finally gave this one a try after months of having access to it. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This is probably the most gorgeous pale beer I've seen up to this point. It's a hazy, bright, pale straw color with a full 3 fingers of egg-shell white head. Retention is ridiculous, and lacing is incredible. Superb.

Smell: I get hints of green apple and pear, with Belgian yeast and slightly citrusy esters. A very nice smell.

Taste: Up front I get some tart green apples and a bit of pear, with that Belgian-type quality and citrusy esters on the back end. Finish is dry and slightly tart. This beer does a great job having good flavor without being too sweet (or very sweet at all for that matter).

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is definitely light bodied with a good deal of carbonation. It seems to fit in perfectly with the other qualities this beer has. It's incredibly drinkable. Great brew, no surprise it's a classic.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a 3 finger thick white billowing head.
looks great

Smells of sweet bavarian hops. Delecate lemons and pineapple abound.

Tastes great! Sweet lemons and nice overall malt characetistics.
Some bitterness on the middle of the palate.

Moutfeel is watery thin and dry. Champaigne bubbles. But the taste is unique and intense. Leaving a bitter afterbite.

This is a good session beer. I love the lemmony tastes...kinkda like tart lemonaide.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 7,977 ratings
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