Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

BA SCORE
95
world-class
7,929 Ratings
Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Belgium
duvel.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
7,929
Reviews:
2,837
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
11.45%
 
 
Wants:
470
Gots:
1,619
For Trade:
5
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Ratings: 7,929 |  Reviews: 2,837
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant beer in every sense: interesting bottle, light hazy color, nice head. Pleasant taste not overpowering. Found it a bit creamy and sweet and not overly dry, but higher than average alcohol does affect mouthfeel. perhaps it was my batch or the chemistry changes depending on storage and age. Nice with food and would have another anytime.

 346 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

 796 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

famous for a reason, this classic golden belgian brew is exceptional. pours clear golden with a massive white foam head, delicate and beautiful. awesome aromatics happening here, smells of yeast and spice, with slight citrus notes. flavor is big and bold for a yellow beer, and to me the quintessential belgian golden ale. mouthfeel is great, very carbonated and almost sharp for that reason, but rounded off my a lighter body and a complex finish. could drink this all day and night. fantastic

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I had this beer I really didn't care for it. I guess my beer senses just weren't ready for something like this yet. The beer seemed to taste like metal or blood each time I took a sip, don;t know why but it kind of sucked at the time.

After trying this again a year or so later I found that this beer is a gem. It's just about as much of a Classic as Chimay or St. Bernardus.

The beer pours out with a bright yellow hazy color with a big foamy head on it. This beer is a lively one. The aromas of Belgian Yeast and some funk with booze mixed together. Some intense hops are on the nose too. The taste is quite bitter and it stings the tongue with lots of needle like sensations on every sip. This beer is really worth trying, every now and then you need to let the Devil loose!

Green Devil Beer Cocktail:
1 Bottle of Duvel
1oz of Bluecoat Gin
1oz of Absinthe

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say.. I had pretty high hopes as I pop opened this beer.. and I come away underwhelmed. The good parts.. comes in a sweet looking bottle unlike anything else, is pretty drinkable and smooth, and the 8.5% ABV is very well hidden. The bad.. has a very bland taste to it.. like really bland. To me it's like a watered down hefeweizen, I was expecting a lot more different types of flavors from this one. I dunno, when I pay $3 for a single 12 oz I want something extraordinary.. and this just doesn't cut it. The Stoudt's Maibock 12 pack I got on clearance for $6.99 has a helluva lot more taste than this. I wanted to love it, but it seems like people reviewing this jumped on the bandwagon and gave it good reviews because everyone else did.. just my 2 cents.

 765 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 764 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.58/5  rDev +7%
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!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml squat bottle, into a Duvel chalice, at a pool hall, no less!

This beer pours a slightly hazy, very pale golden straw colour, with lots and lots and lots (and lots) of thick, puffy, and meringue-like white head, that takes forever and a day to melt away, to a little islet of creamy iceberg-like foam floating dead center in the glass.

It smells of soft, feathery bready pilsener malt, a bit of overripe lemon, sugary pineapple, duly restrained earthy yeast, and some floral and moderately zesty green hops. The taste is grainy pale malt - strongly hay-oriented - a touch of artisanal white bread, lemon and sour orange rind, apple skins, crackling yeast, pithy coriander, and a somewhat phenolic alcohol warming.

The carbonation is quite obviously on the high side, but in a lighter, effervescent sort of manner, in that the bubbles are much finer than yer usual deal, the body a decent medium-heavy weight for the style, and much smoother than it has any right being from the outset. It finishes off-dry, the semi-sweet bready malt, baker's yeast, and boozed-up fruit salad notes doing the honours.

Duvel is a progenitor of the style, for very good reason. Once past the aggravating opening theatrics, everything just goes so very smoothly for such an alcoholic pale ale, so much so that one might inadvisably be inclined to make a night of this. I would suggest looking up the name's literal meaning before deciding on such a course of action.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | 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.

B+

***
12/31/16:

I revisit this often, and I figured I'd add more impressions:

That's just it. ABV couldn't be better disguised, it's soft as fuck, the malt backbone is perfect, it's refreshing in spite of its ABV, the hop profile is terrific for the style...this is just great.

As drinkable as any beer could be at this ABV. What a treat.

A- / EXCELLENT

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw color with a foamy whipped egg white head that persists well and thoroughly laces the chalice

Smell: Lemon and yeasty funk dominate but there is a subtle candi sugar aroma underneath

Taste: Starts with a tangy lemon and green apple flavor that is soon joined by a vaguely funky/vaguely sweet element; after the swallow, the bitter grassy Saaz hops hit their stride and persist well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light and effervescent with warming alcohol on the way down the gullet

Drinkability: Not my favorite among the Belgians but I respect it for what it is; always welcome when available

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked 750, served in cups furnished by Calvin's BBQ in Chicago.

Cork went off with a bang, and into the cup with an eternal excess of foam, that had the texture of whipped merengue. It was majestic on the surface, delicate, irregular peaks formed spontaneously. Racing carbonation was visible in the hazy golden ale.

Smell was lightly fruity pear yeast esters, with a light spicy grain element.

It had a delicate, effervescent feel that was perfectly balanced by a light maltiness, followed by pear and apple notes from the yeast. Dry finish, high on the drinkability scale. Duvel seems to be universally appealing to beer fans, wine drinkers, foodies, and even the adventurous macro drinker.

It made an excellent pairing with BBQ pulled pork, rib tips, and fried okra.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden ale with one very nice head that stayed on top of brew for a few minutes. Quite refreshing with the right amount of spice. Alcohol taste is not too distinct. I could drink this one very often. I find a ressemblance in the malts to the one Unibroue use for their beers.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,929 ratings.
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