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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

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Duvel Belgian Golden AleDuvel Belgian Golden Ale
BA SCORE
4.25/5
Outstanding
8,010 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:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#764
Reviews:
2,857
Ratings:
8,010
pDev:
11.76%
Bros Score:
4.75
 
 
Wants:
476
Gots:
1,656
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,010 |  Reviews: 2,857
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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

 878 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.45/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -4.9%
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 Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of emerge077
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
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 WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
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 oline73
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
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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Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear, golden yellow with a huge head. It was highly carbonated, too. It smelled of alcohol, corn and grass. The taste was spicy and hoppy. I also detected a clove or vanilla flavor. The mouthfeel was creamy. It is highly drinkable, except for the 8.5% ABV.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of superspak
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip, best by 12/24/2013. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a nice 3 finger fluffy white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass with plenty of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of lemon, pear, bready grain, grass, pepper, coriander, and yeast spices. Nice and clean aromas with good strength. Taste of big lemon, pear, apple, biscuit, light tart grains, pepper, grass, coriander, herb, clove, and yeast spices. Fairly dry finish; with some lingering notes of light fruit, pepper, bready grains, and yeast spices for a bit. Great flavor balance, with a good amount of complexity. Medium body with high carbonation; and extremely smooth drinking for the level of alcohol with the prickly carbonation. Alcohol is completely hidden, which is surprising for 8.5%. Overall this is just a fantastic Belgian strong pale. Great balance, complexity, and smooth drinking; and also has the best glass in the beer world.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first thing I notice upon pouring this beer is the huge, billowing head. Very impressive. The beer itself is golden and brilliantly clear.

The nose is full of estery goodness, banana and lemon, and a touch of pale malt.

The flavor is strongly citrusy; lemon grass and orange peel, mild malty sweetness, and a lightly hopped finish. Extremely dry in the finish.

The mouth is heavier than I was expecting from such a pale beer, but then it does have 8.5% alcohol. However, it's not nearly as filling as, say, Rochefort 10. The carbonation is extremely crisp and refreshing, like champagne.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a tulip glass

Pours huge 2 finger pillow top head. Color of head is slightly off white. Color is a clear golden yellow. Nice retention with a ton of splattered lace and rings.

Aroma: Wow I am really enjoying the aroma. Nice clove and spice flavor. Some bananas and fruits. There is also a big yeast aroma. Everything blends together so nice here.

Taste: Very yeasty. A lot of clove and spices here. I get some bananas and a fruit flavor mix. Reminds me a little of a saison and hefe combined together. Well done. I really have to give this a 4.5 because it is simply amazing for how light of a beer it is.

Mouthfeel: This is one of the best crisp beers I have had. Very crisp, a little boozy, but smoothes out nice. It seems to be just a little to carbonated for me. It isn't bad or anything, just not for me. Body is actually fairly light for the abv it has. Ends with a pretty clean, yeast flavored aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is pretty solid. I will definitely be keeping this one around more. It is just so drinkable. It is just so well crafted. I am really amazed by this beer. The world needs to experience Duvel. I will recommend this to anyone.

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 8,010 ratings
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