Duvel Belgian Golden Ale | Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV

2,815 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,815 | Ratings: 7,883
Photo of sopor
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, the classic, perhaps the measuring block that all Belgian SPAs have to compete against? This seems to me to be the perfect example of this style, even if it’s not my favorite of this style.

Pale golden straw with a fluffy dimpled pure white head. A few bubbles are in no hurry but definitely dedicated to their task of joining that clouds of froth forming into pads where a tower of bubbles does it’s part to maintain the cover for the duration of the drink. Smells really good, candy sweet and dry yeasty notes intermingle and caress my anxiously awaiting olfactory sensors. Taste is dryer, with just a bare hint of sweetness laced with dry champagne. The yeastiness noted in the nose is subdued, in part due to the carbonation coming alive and foaming on the tongue just as you begin being able to taste it. Hops finish up almost resinously bitter, but in balance with such a light malt profile. With a light body and that carbonation that sparks to a rolling boil in your mouth, the beer is pretty refreshing, and hides it’s 8.5% to a degree. You won’t likely toss back Duvel like some ESBs, but you’ll have no trouble enjoying them.

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Photo of ClearDog
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass. Very nice cloudy, dark golden yellow. Two finger, fluffy white head. Respectable lacing. I like how the engraved "D" in the bottom of this special glass causes the carbonation to rise from that point only. Very hard-core appearance.

Smell -- Quite complex. Very fruity. I'm getting faint whiffs of apples and maybe pears. Spicy.

Taste -- Fruity but not overly. Almost tastes like champagne. There's more going on here than I can describe.

Mouthfeel -- Light and dry. Nice carbonation. Very pleasant.

Drinkability -- I like this beer a lot and will most definitely seek it out again . . . I've got the special glass now. It's a little more on the pricey side, but that's pretty typical for a good Belgian. Very pleasant and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ToggleEyes
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yes Yes Yes. Duval was a wise choise for me tonight. I love this stuff. I wasn't sure if paying 2.49 for a little 11 oz bottle would be worth it, but I was wrong. It poured out crisp and pale gold. formed a huge champange head that stayed floating till I was almost done. the smell was fruity and floral with a little bread dough. Taste was awsome. Sharp hops and sweet on the tounge. If it didn't taste so good I could easily chug these little guys down one by one.
Awsome beer. going to buy the 4 pack next time.

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Photo of sockeye101
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not knowing what I was getting my self into I grabbed a 750ml bottle of this one of the local Fred Meyer's and figured it probably wouldn't be anything noteworthy, seeing it was from Freddies. But man oh man was I wrong. Duvel has got it going on!!! Beautiful golden color and a massive, thick, chunky head that clung to the glass and remained there until the glass went in the dishwasher. Smell was sweet and fruity with malts and hops. The flavor was very distinctive and full of fruity tones and hops and malts. I highly recommend this Belgian.

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Photo of ahking
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A truly unique beer. Aroma is floral and fruity (pineapple, citrus). Pours a golden pale yellow color with a large sustainable head. Liquid gold. Its hard to classify the flavor of this beer as it is so unique. There is a sweetness of honey, apples, and cedar. This beer is quite hoppy, but balanced very well. Hops and malt are equally strong and each distinct -- they don't blend together on your tongue as well as a pale ale would. While this is lighter bodied ale, it is certainly not a weak beer. Alcohol is evident but not overwhelming. This beer gets very nice as it warms.

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Photo of maddamish
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a nice golden color. Clean and clear in appearance. This brew had a big creamy head to it that did not quickly dissipate. I had to let it sit for a couple of minutes before I could pour the rest.

Smell: Creamy sweet smell mixed with bread notes.

Taste: What a wonderful beer. Fruity, bready and sweet. Very creamy and just as smooth going down.

Drinkability/Notes: This is a solid beer all around. The drinkability is high but watch it, this is a higher end alcohol beverage that will sneak up on you. A beer for people who don't like beer.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straw like yellow with an orange hue. Big fluffy head.

Smells of yeast and grassy hops. Underneath there's hints of sugary sweetness and fruit notes.

Crisp, clean taste. Pear, apple, and some faint orange in there. The use of pilsner malts is apparent. A leafy hop taste balances it out.

Good carbonated mouthfeel, and a smooth sipper. Not bad at all.

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Photo of wl0307
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle--not shared with other beer lovers but just blissful me drinking this mighty beer in a huge bottle... BBE 09/2008.

A: the bottle pops open and pours into a big tulip-shaped wine glass a golden-hued nectar, coming with a fast effervescent, rocky, meringue like fluffy but bloody tight paper-white beer head with very good retention; the highly-carbonated body is not just fizzy--it's like raining/then drizzling bottom-up, or even like a hot spring!! Massive, it looks... the foamy cap sustains the best I've ever seen.
S: fruit-esters, lemony+orange-peel, coriander seed and clove, candyish pale malts, while slightly woody aroma with sweetish edge and profound yeasty note sustains solidly in the background. Overall, floating, refreshing, lightly perfumy, and deceptively light!!
T: refreshingly fruity malts on a bed of perfumy and vegetation-like hoppyness catapults the strength in no time! Then overwhelming yeasty flavour is combined with a thin-bodied citrus-fruity edge, slightly sour-sweet but very tangy, to cause a profound yet very floating mouthfeel of fruitiness. Pretty dry in the aftertaste, like being dry-hopped, but it doesn't stop there, as it becomes drier and drier, dragging all my senses onto a single point deep down the palate... and the woody yeastiness and hoppyness leaves more marks on dryness than on bitterness, which makes this beer extremely light and easy to quaff without even noticing the strength.
M: exceptionally light and lively on the mouthfeel, this is one of those beers hiding their strength just too devilishly well. But for my palate the body is slightly too thin.
D: overall this is hellu'va fine beer. I once saw a Belgian guy quaffing this beer straight from the (330ml) bottle at lunch time when I visited Mechelen, Belgium. While I was sipping "elegantly" a small bottle of Het Anker's Goulden Carolus Classic in a goblet, he drank Duvel like a Bud/Stella Artois/Corona, and he consumed two bottles of them in 20 minutes!!--now I could imagine why, but still disagree with the way the beer was "wasted". He liked it anyhow... and so do I in my own way.

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Photo of Derek
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear, slight yellow hue. Tons of fluffy, white head, decent retention. The lace really looks like lace!

S: Bready, pilsner malt. Clean hop aroma.

T: Bready, pilsner malt. Fruity yeast profile, with a touch of earthyness. It's a little cidery, though the alcohol is well hidden. Very well balanced... starting slightly sweet, with a crisp, slightly tart finish.

M: Moderate body, moderately high carbonation.

D: Should be approachable/enjoyable by all. Not a session brew though.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well my batting order for trying the Belgians went Chimay, Corsendonk, and then Duvel and this was my favorite beer for a very long time. NEver got around to reviewing it till now.

750 ML bottle ppured into my Duvel tulip.

A - A 5 by far, especially because this is one of those brews that has its own look. It's a pale golden color with tons of carbonation feeding a HUGE head of pure white foam. Over all the time I've been drinking this I've perfected the pour that is desctibed on the bottle and illustrated by video on their website. A pale golden color up to the middle of the letters in Duvel and then a bubbly white head filling the rest of the tulip. Truly a marvelous sight. The most lacing I've ever seen in a beer.

S - The pilsner malt comes through in the smell along with some granny smith apple and an alcohol kick. The yeast is prevelent throughout as well.

T - One of the best balanced beers I've ever had. It seems like the malt sweetness, yeasty taste and slight hoppiness all take turns on this one. The alcohol provides a grand finale of warming at the end. Definitely a unique and wonderful taste.

M - A ton of champagne bubbles tickle the tongue. They make the warming feel even better.

D - I want more every time I take a swallow.

Notes: An old favorite. both sentimentally and tastewise. Glad I finally picked up a bottle for review. I forgot just how good and unique this beer is and I now remember why my avatar and desktop both feature Duvel pics. A truly great Belgian strong pale ale and A great change of pace for me from all the hop bombs and stouts I've been into lately. I love this beer. One thing I will say though is that I've never drank this beer without proper glassware and I don't know if it would be quite the same without it.

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Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well crafted beer that makes me happy. It pours with a bauta-head, and with rings of lacing like sediments marking every gulp. The color is light yellow and it smells of yeast and citrus. The yeast is coming to the fore in the taste as well, complimented with citrus and spices. It ends with a dry, bitter bite. The mouthfeel is very fizzy, a little too much for my taste. Unlike many other beers I tasted this one tasted better in the first sips.

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Photo of davidchollar
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

interesting note - i got a 750 ml bottle of this life-affirming jesus juice tonight for 1050 yen, that's about $8.75. i don't know how much this costs back home, but i think this is worth every penny, or yen.

interesting note, part 2 - i don't have the proper glassware for this beer but - as i'm new to the belgian beer scene - i learned a valuable lesson. i poured my wife some in an oversized wine glass, and i served myself in a weizen. after a few minutes, my wife still had this amazing 1/2 inch thick and creamy glorious white - almost styrofoam - head and i had maybe an eighth of an inch around the edge. her wine glass was tattooed all up and down with a wallpaper of lace. it really makes a difference what you serve this beer in. (i know, duh, right? well i was skeptical until that little experiment) regardless, it looks great, golden and wonderful

there is so much going on in the nose i don't know where to start, it's almost like perfume. complex, sweet but also a strong alcohol smell, buttery toast in the background with a nice floral fruity bouquet up front. every sip gives new insight into the world of better beer. my first taste and first review, but i will re-visit this brew soon. this is definitely one for reflection. jesum crow, what an incredible beer!

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled multiple times. About time to review it. Poured a off straw colored yellow with light hues of amber. Head retention was ample and remained throughout the tasting. Decent lacing as well.

The smell has a strong indication of Belgium quality. Some light malt with a touch caramel. More noticeable is the spices and fruity esters. Definite cloves and cinnamon as well as some bananas and a bit of pears as well.

The taste has a good malt backing with a basic taste but the real flavor is noticed in the spice, yeast and fruity esters. The spice has some good biscuit flavor that reminds me of an apple pie. The fruitiness accentuates this but has more of a banana taste. This becomes more noticeable in the aftertaste. And the yeast has a smoothness to it that is not overly alcohol even with a high ABV.

The body is med to high. Very easy to drink with low phenol flavors. Overall a good example of a Belgium is pretty widely distributed.

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Photo of Finite
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew needs no help getting a head forming. The head is thick luscious and pure white with marvelous head retention and amazing lacing on the glass. Carbonization is a perfect flow of bubble. The colour is a dark lemon to light orange which is slightly pale. The brew smells of sweet fruits and well balanced spices.

The taste gets better as you go. At first I was unsure if I liked the taste but after a few sips I was enjoying it thoroughly and by the end I was I love. The flavors on the palate are unlike anything if witnessed. It’s sweet but lemony with hints of pepper and spice yet in the background at the back of my throat is the alcohol, untouched just reminding you of its power. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with great carbonization. The flavors in this beer are delicate yet at the same time there is something powerful and devilish about this beer. It’s a real sexy flavor range but quite strong at the same time. It really feels like this beer lures you in to something sweet but packs a punch just as you start to relax. The aftertaste is a perfect reminder of you last sip, tasting of citrus rine and spices with hints of bitterness.

This beer is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s a real trip and every sip packs a seductive punch. I will have a six pack of these in my cellar always.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Allagash Belgian tulip glass
Bottle Conditioned
Best before date labeled for 10 2008

* Thanksgiving 2005 *

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a bunch of tiny carbonation bubbles. Looks like a pilsner with champagne bubbles in a haze. The head on this beer is unreal; it looks like it has the consistency of shaving cream. I was expecting a big head for a bottle conditioned beer, but this Duvel is massive. The head is sudsy, fluffy and all over the glass. One of the most aggressive heads I have ever seen. Patterns of sticky lace decorate the glass.

Whiffs of Belgian yeast....a blend of spices and light fruits.

Spicy and fruity with pear flavors and white pepper. Very clean and light with a creamy quality on the palate. Distinctive Belgian yeast taste. This is such a great beer with complex flavors that make this an interesting beer.

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Photo of delicious
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330mL shorty into a dedicated Duvel glass.

Bubbles erupt like a volcano from the pit of the glass, erecting a scaffold of spongy head that is tenacious in its longevity. The bottle advises to “Pour unhurriedly,” and even while heeding this warning, the head soon reaches the top of the glass. The body is a golden yellow, made slightly cloudy by the yeast. As it is consumed, the bitter tasting head laces the glass like clinging stockings on a curvy, tulip shaped leg.
The aroma is floral and bitter with a citric acid bite, and completely fills the nose as the glass is tilted for a sip. Some coriander is noticeable.
The beer feels full in the mouth as flowery bitterness dances a stimulating and erotic tap-ensemble on the tongue. The bitterness is multi-faceted and complicated; it feels like much more then one glass is needed to fully understand it.
This beer is visually fascinating and has a spectacularly complicated nose and flavor, but I'm just not sure if I LIKE it! Maybe I'm just not ready, or maybe I'm not in the proper mood. This beer will have to be revisited for further conclusions to be drawn.

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Photo of AltTrinker
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A shorty 330ml freshness dated bottle poures a HUGE, solid foam head. Great care needs to be taken to slowly pour this beer so as to not over-develop the head. The head lasts forever, leaving lacy traces all over the glass with chunks of foam in the center of the beer. I chose to pour the yeast, giving a slightly turbid, pale golden color.

The nose initially gives a sharp, bitter aroma that mellows to a citrusy, lemon and corianter scent. The taste is more muted than the aroma with pale malty sweetness noted in the mouth, followed by hoppy bitterness down the throat that lingers on-and-on. The mouthfeel is light to moderate.

This is an eminently drinkable beer, especially to perk-up the taste buds before the evening meal. The 8.5% alcohol is well hidden in this smooth, very drinkable ale.

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Photo of LesStewart
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great though I don't know if it's worth the difference in price that it often manifests. This was the first beer that I tried in North Carolina that was greater than 6.5% alcohol as that we just passed out "Pop the Cap" bill allowing for a rush of new, often wonderful, beers

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a pale straw yellow crystal clear body with a few strands of tiny bubbles. The head is a thick creamy white cloud that turns rocky after the beer sits for a bit. This beer has nice Belgian lace throughout the drink.

S- The smell of perfume and light yeast and hints of pears and pepper are noted in the background.

T- Soft fruity notes are blended with a hint of spice and sourness. The fruit has qualities of pears, oranges with a slight buttery corn hint but it is very light. This finish has a nice hop bitterness that mixes with the spiciness of the beer.

M- Light mouthfeel with a hint of fizz in the texture. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer is truly light and it does have some nice complexity in flavor. The buttery corn notes as it warmed seem to interfere with the other flavors but not a great deal. The head is simply incredible and the lace just last and last. This is one fizzy yellow beer that is wonderful.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: golden yellow in color with a thick fluffy 3" white head. Plenty of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The head slowly fades, leaving a nice lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell: the aroma is of yeast, grass, and citrus.

Taste: the yeast is very prominent on the tongue, along with a pepper spiciness, citrus, decent malt levels, and crisp bitterness. Alcohol is slightly noticable.

Mouthfeel: super crisp at the start and finish, and the finish is slightly dry. Medium bodied brew.

Drinkability: superb drinkability as this is one of the more refreshing Belgian beers on the market. This was one of the first Belgian beers I had many years ago, and I still enjoy it to this day.

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

Appearance: Golden in hue, almost sparkling with a strong and persistent fluffy white head. Stong lacing that seems to leave a ring as the level drops sip after sip.

Smell: Rich and yeasty with mild scents of hay and alfalfa. Mildly sweet and refreshing.

Taste: Mellow immediately with tastes of the aforementioned yeast. Moments later hints of pepper and medium hoppy bitterness present themselves. Mild undertones of an undetermined sweet fruit. Perhaps banana?

Mouthfeel: Strong and immediate, the flavors fill the mouth and the strong carbonation makes the front of the tounge tingle.

Drinkability: I find this to be more of a sipper than a slugger, due in fact to the strength of the brew and the delicate nature overall. More of a "treat" beer for me.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at some liquor store in Milwaukee on Oakland across from the Miramar Theater.

Pours a golden yellow/light amber, clear, with ample snow-white creamy head fed by a steady stream of bubbles from my chalice. Nose is musty/yeasty up front, with citrus, apricot, pineapple, and a slight hint of alarming vinegar in the end. Taste starts off similarly with tropical fruits, yeast, some grainy/grassy notes, and again, the slightest bit of puckering vinegar. Mouthfeel is typical Belgian pale - light, dry and bubbly. This was a tasty BSPA, but I've certainly had better. That vingar sourness just through me off a little. I tend to like my BSPAs a little sweeter. Still a good example of the style though.

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Photo of damifino
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poors a nice golden hue with a frothy head. It is the perfect beer-stache beer for your "Got beer" commercials. The carbonation lasts on this one as well.

My sniffer is not as good as others, but it definitely had the fuit aroma.

You start off with some malt and end it on a hoppy note. It is very satifying as a sipping beer to gain the flavors.

I wanted a while on this one. It is one of those trappist that is always there, but you seemingly passed it over for another beer. Needless, I will not pass this one over.

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Photo of fromage
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I waited so long to try this one--especially since I picked it up for only 7$. Paired with italian antipasto stuff wonderfully.

Served in champagne flutes after being left out for an hour. Unbelieveable frothy white head piling out of the glass. Quite difficult getting it under control. Nice straw color, quite carbonated, a bit hazy.

Smells of spice, cloves, corriander, some bananas, apples, pears. Just a tiny bit of citrus and grass.

Taste is mostly palate scrubbing bubbles, so it's almost an absence of taste. A little fruit manages to hit the tounge, but mostly spice and carbonation burning/lifting. The fruit doesn't last, but a dry aftertaste lingers.

Mouthfeel is carbonated, as mentioned! Medium body.

Highly drinkable, alcohol not noticeable at all.

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Photo of mattdavis452
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass. Head builds much more rapidly than most other beers, albeit a very fine, frothy head. There's a reason the bottle says "Pour unaggressively."

Smells slightly fruity, not so much of a citrus smell, but other fruit-like sensations are present.

The taste confirms the smell portion; mild to medium notes of fruitiness, but well balanced and exquisitely enjoyable. Crisp mouthfeel that leaves you wanting more, however, too much is not recommended due to the 8.5% alc./vol.

Drinkability is excellent. Indeed, I find myself agreeing with another quip found on the side of the bottle: "Enjoy with discerning friends or good looking strangers."

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Duvel Belgian Golden Ale from Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV
4.28 out of 5 based on 7,883 ratings.
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